Police investigating unvaccinated safe zone bar owner

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Police are investigating a bar owner who opened his business as a safe zone on Monday but wasn’t able to provide proof of vaccination to health inspectors.

St Andrews/St David county medical officer of health Dr Allana Quamina-Best revealed this during the Ministry of Health covid19 media briefing on Wednesday.

Quamina-Best said, health inspectors have started visiting some of the 356 businesses which are eligible to be opened as safe zones in her county since the programme was started on Monday.

She said to date health inspectors have visited 13 bars, 18 restaurants, one gaming house and one gym.

But it was on Tuesday that one bar owner was unable to provide proof of vaccination.

“Out of the 13 bars, seven were found to be satisfactory as a TT safe zone area, four were closed, one decided to maintain a takeout service, and there was a bar where the owner did not have proof of being vaccinated.

“So that matter has been referred to the TTPS for a follow-up.”

Quamina-Best warned business owners that they put their businesses at risk when they do not comply with the safe zone requirements.

“The regulation is quite clear– that the owner or operator of a business who at any time is found to be in contravention (of the safe zone rules) commits an offence and is issued a fixed-penalty notice.

“The same applies to a patron who has entered a TT safe zone area without the required documentation.

“The two can be issued a fixed-penalty notice because they have in fact committed an offence.”

Of the 18 restaurants inspected, only two had safe zone certificates while the rest opted to maintain a takeaway service.

The only gym and gaming house were both found to be in compliance.
Quamina-Best reminded safe zone businesses that only vaccinated customers and workers are allowed on their premises.

“The TT safe zone initiative allows for members of the public who are fully vaccinated to enjoy entertainment areas like restaurants, bars, gyms, theatres, cinemas, private member clubs and gaming houses.

“All employees at these establishments must be fully vaccinated and copies of their vaccination cards must be kept on site.

“All patrons must also be fully vaccinated and they should have, in their possession, proof of vaccination and one valid form of photo ID.”

In the event that someone in a safe zone has been exempted from being vaccinated, that person must have proof of their vaccine exemption and a negative covid19 test result no more than two days before visiting the safe zone.

Unvaccinated safe zone employees must present a negative test result every two weeks.

Quamina-Best also reminded businesses to display their safe zone certificates at the entrance of their establishments.