Street food sellers were back out yesterday after two months of lockdown and it was heartening to see that those selling and those purchasing were obeying COVID protocols of keeping social distance and wearing masks.

It is, of course, up to the street sellers to ensure that no protocols are broken. They would do well to ensure that their customers adhere to strict guidelines that they themselves should lay down since no one would want to have to go back into lockdown and lose sales again.

Yesterday, as the sales restarted, there was a heavy police presence on Ariapita Avenue as officers kept a close eye on the crowd of people and they offered their advice to the vendors as to how they can assist in ensuring there are no breaches to the regulations.

One officer told a vendor to put up a sign that says once there are more than five people in the line they should wait in their car and only join when someone leaves.

Sound advice was given that officers would be well within the law as stipulated in the Regulations to shut down any establishment that is found to be in breach of COVID regulations.

It should not be that citizens need to be told all the time or that police need to continuously be patrolling in order to ensure that the right thing is being done.

Loss of livelihoods and the impact on families during the lockdown should be enough incentive for those who are back in the food retail business to understand that breaches have consequences.

It’s not just the popular doubles that people were happy to get, many other fast-food establishments were also back in business for takeout only.

This is a time that requires everyone to come together and do the right thing. It cannot be that in the rush to purchase citizens ignore the protocols.

Vendors and business owners would be well within their right to protect their businesses and their customers by refusing to sell to anyone who does not want to obey set guidelines and protocols.

In this time as the country reopens, it is the right of every business owner, whether doubles vendor, food cart owner or big business food franchises to put clear guidelines for the public to follow.

If they don’t then the business owners, whoever they are, must do what they have to do.

Along with the reopening of food and construction, citizens are once again allowed to exercise outdoors, the airport has also reopened and flights are bringing in visitors and nationals who have been abroad in some instances for months.

This reopening at a time when the Delta Variant is running rings against US and British officials poses its own dangers, but it is important as the government moves to get lives and livelihoods back on track, something that will take a long time to achieve.

In France, the government has gone the route of mandatory vaccines for health workers and COVID-19 passes for anyone who wants to go to a restaurant, shopping mall or hospital.

Those measures President Macron said were needed because of the growing number of Delta Variant cases.

In Trinidad and Tobago, we are far from that.

But we have a duty to be responsible.

Each of us has a role to play. As important as observing the protocols when purchasing food is getting vaccinated. The more citizens who are vaccinated the better our chance of battling COVID-19.

This s a war in which all of us are soldiers, we can’t afford to make mistakes even as we get back to some sense of normalcy.