T&T’s Safe Zone initiative to allow fully vaccinated people access to leisure and entertainment services began yesterday.

However, further clarification is being sought from the Ministry of Health for hotels to be counted among the safety bubbles.

Speaking on CNC3’s Morning Brew programme with Jason Williams, the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants & Tourism Association (THRTA) president, Hassel Thom, said the association is working closely with the ministry on the matter.

“We’ve reached out to both the Minister of Health as well as the Chief Medical Officer and obviously because there are fines included or there are penal elements of the TT Safe Zones that’s involved- we have to tread very carefully,” he said.

One of the issues for hotels being considered as a safe zone, Thom said, is the immunization status of children staying at hotels.

As a safe zone, an establishment can only allow patrons 12 and over who are fully vaccinated on its premises. The only unvaccinated people allowed are employees who are medically unable to take a vaccine but they must provide a negative PCR test every two weeks. However, hotels have no such criteria for their guests who may have children under 12 years who aren’t eligible to receive a vaccine by local policy.

“There is no restriction on taking anyone under the age of 12 into a hotel. However, where it becomes tricky- which is why we’re awaiting feedback- a hotel that wants to offer inhouse dining to its guests would find itself in a peculiar position,” he said.

The safe zone initiative will see fully vaccinated people return to in-house dining at restaurants and bars, watching a movie at a cinema and even back into casinos. The caveat, outside of vaccination stipulations, being that alcohol cannot be consumed and establishments can only have a 50 per cent capacity.