Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh insists there was no double standard by the Government with the Taste of Carnival initiative this year.
Responding to a question about the behaviours people engaged in despite public health regulations in place, Deyalsingh said the Government had done its part and it was up to stakeholders to do theirs.
“It is up to the owners of these establishments or their operators. As I have said consistently since last year when safe zones first came out, to accept the responsibility, including fines for the conduct of people on their premises.
“That’s not a Ministry of Health or a government action,” he said.
“The enforcement of the safe zone regulations and/or rules and to determine if the regulations are being broken or being breached and to charge people is a responsibility of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. So on the part of the Government, there is absolutely no double standard.”
Deyalsingh noted that the country is at a point where the biggest push against the pandemic will be the population’s responsibility.
“The honourable Prime Minister has said it and I have said it numerous times, the onus for the management of this virus, since last year, if we are to open back the economy, lies now to a large degree with individuals. For personal behaviour and personal responsibility,” he said.
“As we open up more and more around the world, we cannot discount personal responsibility on the part of the individual to do their part to ensure that the vaccination rates go up, be responsible and adhere to the public health measures.”
The decision to host some semblance of a Carnival amidst a pandemic this year was heavily criticised and questioned by many.
The public’s concern was exacerbated as videos circulated on social media showing people at private events apparently breaking the public health protocols and regulations.