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A man limes at Bomb Scare Rest & Bar, Wellington Road, Debe on the reopening yesterday. 6/22/20

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Only a few die-hard drinkers made their way to their favourite bars in South Trinidad yesterday morning as restrictions were lifted for the first time in three months.

The same was reported at restaurants, casinos and gyms, forcing operators to introduce new guidelines in the post lockdown period.

At the popular Bombscare Bar at Wellington Road, Debe, only three people were taking a drink when we visited.

That number included one man sitting alone with two bottles of rum in front of him, together with a bottle of water and a sanitary cup.

Gerard Rahim and his wife Karen were also seated at the front having a drink. Rahim said he felt great about the reopening of bars. Asked whether he took any additional precautions, Rahim said he came with his masks and was satisfied that the bar had been properly sanitised.

At the popular Dip’s Restaurant and Bar only one man was seen sipping a Stag. The owner Kamla Seedial said she was ecstatic that she could open once more.

She said up to 10 am, the turnout was poor.

“Normally here is very busy but it seems people are not spending. We didn’t cook as much as we normally do because we are not sure what the turnout will be for customers,” she said. She explained that the past three months were very difficult.

“We had to dip into our savings. We had light bills to pay. Now that the bar is open we have put up plastic all around. We have removed some of the chairs to keep the customers apart and we are encouraging sanitization, face masks and social distancing,” she added.

Meanwhile, businessman Ashmir Mohammed who owns Club 2011, Club 2000, Boysie’s Happy Hole, 2000 Guest House and Bombscare bar said he experienced low turnouts in all of his establishments. He explained that losses were high during the lockdown period and thousands of dollars worth of drink had expired.

Mohammed who has 30 people on his employment list said all of them were rehired when the lockdown was lifted. He noted that many of them had families to take care of and had experienced hardship during the lockdown.

Mohammed said he also established COVID-19 guidelines.

“We are not using glasses anymore. We are providing customers with disposable sanitary cups and napkins to cover their drinks. We are sanitizing after every customer and we are advising people to maintain social distancing,” he added.

Mohammed said even though the turnout was poor, he was hoping that business will pick up soon.