Bar Owners Association president Teron Mohan, centre, with vice-president Satesh Moonasar, left and PRO Anil Maraj Powell.

The Barkeepers and Operators Association of T&T (BOATT) is alleging discrimination against their members by the Ministry of Health (MOH), as they claimed amended regulations allowing for non-contact team sports is a further disadvantage for them.

In a release yesterday, BOATT’s vice president Satesh Moonasar called on Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, and Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to clarify the exemption given to Sports Members Clubs under the Club Act, Chapter 21:01.

The exemption is with respect to regulations 4 (1) (b) of the Public Health Regulations Legal Notice 316 of 2020.

The Public Health Regulation (No 28) of 2020 outlines the right to operate a club as defined in Section 2 of the Registration of Clubs Act.

BOATT claimed, “This allows these member clubs to operate in a normal environment in which bars and restaurants are a part, this will allow individuals to congregate in groups of five and more, which is against the regulations.”

BOATT argued, “If so, this exemption gives the rights to a particular percentage of the population to congregate, socialize, and have recreational activity, whilst the rest of the population cannot. This is total DISCRIMINATION.”

Claiming this development came days after the TTPS instructed that operations at the St Andrews Golf Club cease, BOATT questioned if it was coincidental that it was done just before the Great Race is due to be held.

BOATT said this move by the authorities would enable members of yacht clubs to congregate as they participate in the sporting event.

As such, BOATT is demanding, “immediate clarification on this matter as all citizens have the right to equal treatment as enshrined in the constitution of T&T.”

Reporter: Anna-Lisa Paul