A group of people enjoy a sea bath at Mt Irvine Beach, Tobago, on the reopening of beaches on Monday.

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Beachgoers will be able to enjoy some more time basking in the sun, sand and sea come month’s end.

According to the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, the Prime Minister approved a four-hour extension to the operating hours which will take effect on January 31.

“Beaches in Trinidad and Tobago will be opened at 5 am to 6 pm. This will also extend to reef tours, swamp tours and other like activities but with a 50 per cent capacity,” he said on Wednesday.

“We urge no partying, no alcohol and so and we urge caution after the beaches close at 6 pm to please, no after-beach lime partying.”

He said the Public Health Regulations will be amended to reflect the changes.

Deyalsingh said the move came out of a meeting between Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Farley Augustine.

Currently, beaches are only open from 5 am to 2 pm under the Public Health Regulations. The present window is an extension of the 5 am to 12 pm initially allowed when the beaches reopened on December 20, 2020.

The minister did not say if the extended time will also apply to rivers. However, under the current public health regulations, “Beaches, rivers, streams, ponds, springs and similar bodies of water” are governed collectively under Regulation 4(2).

“Beaches, rivers, streams, ponds, springs and similar bodies of water, shall be open between the hours of 5.00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. subject to the following conditions at such places: (a) no person shall consume alcohol; (b) no person shall play loud music including from any motor vehicle; (c) a gathering shall not exceed ten persons at a time; (d) a gathering shall not light or have lit any fire; (e) there shall be no parties allowed; and (f) each person shall comply with the mask-wearing requirements under regulation 6 unless he is in the water,” the current regulation says.