Barkeepers & Operators Association president Teron Mohan (centre), with vice-president Satesh Moonasar (left), and PRO Anil Maraj Powell.

The Barkeepers and Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) is assuring bar patrons and members of the public that all the necessary steps have been undertaken to ensure all membership outlets are fully COVID 19 compliant.

In an official statement issued today, BOATT reports that its member establishments have been fully cleaned and sanitized in order to eliminate and minimize the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Association listed several of the Health and Safety protocols which have been implemented at establishments, for the protection of staff and patrons alike:

1. The institution of social distancing regulations for seating at tables which are placed at a minimum of 6 feet apart which will result in no more than 50% capacity.

2. Mandatory use of Personal Protective Equipment such as mask, gloves and face shields by staff.

3. Temperature checks of all staff before they report for duty and patrons upon entry.

4. Sanitization stations available at all entry points and hand sanitizer available within the establishments.

5. Masks to be worn on entry & exit and while moving around within the establishments. Masks are only to be removed if necessary when seated at a table in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines.

6. Increased mandatory sanitization of all high contact areas and surfaces including doorknobs, counters, tables, chairs, washrooms and amusement gaming machines during & after operational hours.

7. Appropriate signage informing & reminding customers of rules associated with the “New Normal”.

8. Sneeze guards at bar counters for proper separation of patrons and bar staff

9. No seating at bar counters.

10. Prioritization of outdoor seating versus indoor seating.

These assurances and initiatives from BOATT are the latest in its efforts to encourage Government to reconsider the stringency of its restrictions on the sector, which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very concerned about the wellbeing of the over 20,000 employees associated with our industry, most of whom have been temporarily laid off as a result of the closure of the bar sector,” BOATT says in its release. “We hope that they can return to work in the shortest possible time.”

The Association also reiterated its position that those contravening the COVID-19 Regulations must be held accountable.

“The Association stands firm in its position that proper adherence and enforcement of the health guidelines are necessary at this time in all business and public settings and would like to urge all bar owners to do so,” BOATT said in the release.

It added: “The Association also stands firm in its position that all businesses that do not adhere to the proper health guidelines should feel the full brunt of the law.”