Story by SHASTRI BOODAN
Tobagonians and Trinidadians vacationing on the sister isle made ample use of the beaches on Sunday before facilities closed to the public.
Roynald Koylass, a resident of Chaguanas, said he planned his vacation to Tobago a week ago and described his timing as being “just right”.
Speaking with Guardian Media at Store Bay on Sunday, Koylass said closing the beaches was a good move to help cut community spread. Koylass said he planned on leaving Tobago on Monday on a confirmed flight; however, he intends to get to the airport early to make sure his flight was not cancelled.
Majeed Mohammed, a resident of Aranguez, who was also at Store Bay, said he came to Tobago on the fast ferry. Mohammed said he had a confirmed sailing for Thursday and was not sure if the Port Authority of T&T would have rescheduled his sailing. Mohammed said if he has to remain in Tobago longer than intended, he may have to ask his landlord to allow him stay at a reduced cost.
And 68-year-old Paul Santlal, a resident of Tobago for the last 30 years, said his daily routine included a swim at Store Bay. Santlal said he was extremely cautious about his contacts with the public since the virus started spreading. Santlal said he was supportive of any measure to stop the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, Benson Hanomansingh, one of the owners of Traditions Bar and Grill at Pigeon Point, said the closure of the beach at Pigeon Point would result in both him and his employees not earning any income. Hanomansingh said there was no way he could operate a take-away service from a bar located inside a gated beach facility.
Nevertheless, Hanomansingh said he was supportive of any move by the Government to curb the spread of the disease for the upcoming 28-day period.
He told Guardian Media that he had not applied for the Entrepreneurship Grant and was assisting his employees in making ends meet. Hanomasingh said he believes that grants should be given to persons and organisations who are having trouble to remain afloat.
The business owner said it was going to be difficult for many businesses to chart the waters for the next 28 days after emerging from a very difficult period . He said when the restrictions were lowered after the initial period that began in March, Trinis came en masse to Tobago.