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The TT Chamber says they are in support of the government’s plans to make masks mandatory. However, they recommended caveats to protect those who have legitimate medical reasons for being unable to wear masks, or who are engaged in activities which do not facilitate wearing masks.

The following is a press release from the TT Chamber:

The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce notes the initiative to amend the Public Health Ordinance to include penalties which will make it an offence for failure to wear a mask in public places.

We confirm our support for passing of the required legislation, we recommend caveats to protect those who have legitimate medical reasons for being unable to wear masks, or who are engaged in activities which do not facilitate wearing masks.

The law must include the appropriate penalties; however these should be in keeping with fines for similar offences and relative international benchmarks. On the 28th of July we issued a release stating: It is our view that we all have the responsibility of curtailing the spread. We further believe that the wearing of masks in all public spaces should be made mandatory, given that we are faced with a public health emergency.

This will follow the example of several countries which have been showing some success in containing the spread, for example, Vietnam, France, and Japan. A recent study by Cambridge University concluded that universal usage of face masks in public spaces might significantly reduce spread.

We know that many businesses have taken the required steps to create a safe to work and shop environment for their employees and customers. The initiatives include a “no mask, no service” rule and hand washing/sanitisation before entry and increased workplace cleaning.

The Chamber believes that all businesses should enforce these policies. Consumers must also adhere to the safety and sanitation protocols required by businesses and likewise if they are not being enforced, have the choice to shop where they feel safer.

We individually and collectively are responsible for limiting the spread of this virus. Once we follow the safety protocols, we can flatten the curve. We all have a stake in keeping Trinidad and Tobago safe and for protecting lives and livelihoods.