A worker sets up a tent for a vendor at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Thursday, in preparation of Monday’s re-opening

Anna-Lisa Paul

Although he had no intention of following in the footsteps as his counterpart in San Fernando to initially ban street food vendors from reopening on Monday – Port-of-Spain mayor Joel Martinez said the option will be considered if and when the situation warrants it.

Following last Saturday’s media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s – Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley gave fast food outlets and restaurants the green light to resume operating but only for delivery and curbside pick-up.

Martinez said for a late evening/night vendor, “Your vending time will be very short because you have to pack up, clean up and get home before 9 o’clock. And the person who is coming to buy from you will also have to do the same thing.”

Martinez added, “My council has not had to meet on it as yet, to discuss whether it is an issue.”

Indicating full support for Government’s call for all to vaccinate before they operate, the mayor added, “We want to be safe. We want to live to speak about it, and we want to ensure the country is doing the right thing.”

Asked if he would advise the category of street-vendors to come forward and get the vaccine, he said the vendors association would be given an opportunity for their members to get immunised.

If members of the purchasing public refuse to adhere to public health regulations to social distance from each other, Martinez said, “The virus does not look for any prejudice and we have to look at all the ways to protect ourselves.”

“If the customers cannot operate responsibly, we will have to take measures to curb the situation,” he added.

Officials from the Port-of-Spain City Corporation have been engaging in public awareness campaigns with burgesses, advising them of the importance to get vaccinated as well as the public health measures that need to be enforced.

A visit to the popular Yousef Gyros on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, yesterday, saw various stages of clean-up taking place.

One of the Venezuelan migrants, who were seen scrubbing counter tops and floors, and sanitising freezers and stove-tops said, “We feel good after two to three months of closing the country. We feel good as we can go back to work again…go back normal. Trinidad is nice.”

At Wendy’s on the Avenue, a female worker was seen scrubbing the front driveway while others were inside wiping down appliances and furniture as they prepare to reopen on Monday.