Minister of Local Government and Community Development Honourable Desmond McKenzie is urging owners and operators of community bars and taverns to fully comply with the requirements governing their re-opening, which was announced earlier this week.
“It is important to emphasize that this re-opening period applies only to community bars and taverns. Sports Bars, nightclubs and other places of amusement, where alcohol would normally be sold, will remain closed as per the Disaster Risk Management Order.
“I wish to remind the proprietors of the community bars and taverns that the reopening of their operations is conditional, and at the end of the two-week period that starts on May 19, the levels of compliance by owners and operators island-wide will be assessed by the teams that we already have on the ground. Thereafter, a decision will be made as to whether community bar operations will continue. Based on some of the feedback we have been having, it is clear that there will be a strong effort to comply with the distancing and sanitary protocols, but we know that there are some who will try to defy them, or comply only with the rules they consider most convenient. I am encouraging all stakeholders to obey the rules governing the re-opening, as this will be to everyone’s benefit.
“I also want to make it clear that this Administration respects the judgment of our entrepreneurs. If you own a community bar or tavern, and you believe that due to health or financial reasons, it is not wise to re-open on May 19, we fully understand and support your decision. What we are seeking is full co-operation from those owners and operators who intend to re-open their community bars and taverns come May 19.
“The Government fully understands the need for our people to earn a proper living and to regain their financial footing, and that is exactly why full compliance with the rules is critical. Those who breach the protocols will not be allowed to remain open and threaten the complete closure of community bars across the island.
“I ask that our community of bar and tavern owners take advantage of this opportunity in the prescribed way, as we work to restore our economy even as we battle COVID-19.”
REQUIREMENTS GOVERNING THE RE-OPENING OF COMMUNITY BARS AND TAVERNS
1. Opening Hours: 11:00 am each day to one hour before that day’s curfew begins.
2. Social and physical distancing must be maintained.
3. No more than five people including the Bartender shall be in the bar at any one time.
4. Patrons who enter the bars must wear face masks.
5. Bartenders must wear face masks, and are strongly encouraged to wear face shields and protective clothing.
6. All seating arrangements outside the bars must be maintained, that is physical distancing of six feet between each single seating unit.
7. There shall be no stools, no benches, chairs or tables for people within the bar.
8. There shall be no group games, dominoes etc. inside the bar or on the premises occupying the bar.
9. Poker boxes and other gambling and gaming instruments must be placed at least six feet apart to ensure social and physical distancing.
10. There shall be no events that promote social gathering such as parties.
11. Bar doors and windows must remain open during the operating hours.
12. Each bar must have a sanitization station for the proper washing of hands, and must maintain sanitation protocols that will be set out by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
13. All bars should display proper signage to advise people of the protocols under which they will operate.