The Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) is urging those essential businesses that are currently operating under the new Public Health Regulations for COVID-19, to ensure that their customers practice social / physical distancing both inside and outside their businesses.

The appeal comes as the Prime Minister and the Police Commissioner have expressed concern that citizens are not carrying out the stay-at-home orders and social / physical distancing practices, as diligently as they should.

The full text of DOMA’s statement on the matter, follows…


We write with an update from the City Centre on Day 3 of our Nation’s Stay at Home Campaign.

Downtown Port-of-Spain is closed for business except for Groceries, Banks, Mobile Phone Carriers and Fast Food outlets. While we understand the need for business that is essential, especially as it relates to the needs of the downtown citizens we wish to add our voice to those that have raised concerns about the crowding outside these establishments. Those who are open for business are enjoying improved revenues from the very nature of their essential offerings and in that regard have a vested interest to interdict against the closeness of the lines and the crowding outside their businesses. To be responsible to the public’s safety and to protect their stream of income these businesses should have their own security staff outside their business place to supervise and assist in the spacing of their clients – it is their duty to do so.

The exhortations of our Government authorities regarding violations of stay-at-home clearly indicates that some citizens still do not grasp the dangerous waters through which we are sailing. Could it be that the marginal growth in infections and deaths has given a false sense of security to some of us regarding the risk of illness and death?  Should the situation get out of control or ‘explode’ in numbers it is possible that we could have more cases than hospital beds? More infections than medical staff? Have we considered becoming sick and having no one to attend to us ?

We wish to recommend to the media across all categories of print and electronic to carry as lead items of news in Trinidad and Tobago the Covid19 stories from New York, London, New Orleans & Los Angeles. Please give us coverage of the stories from Italy where 61 Doctors have already died and where the bodies are being cremated to make space for the hundreds per day that arrive in coffins.

Finally, to our Health Care Personnel, Doctors, Nurses, Orderlies, Cleaners thank you for your service to the sick. To the Protective Services Police, Army, Coast Guard , Fire Services and Prisons Officers thank you for your protection.

To all Citizens – let us interrupt Covid transmission by taking cover and confining ourselves to our homes.