While the population seeks to protect itself from covid19 infection, some vendors on Charlotte Street – including mask vendors – were not wearing masks on Monday afternoon.
At Independence Square some passers-by were also observed without masks and no physical distancing.
When Newsday went downtown, it was clear a large part of the community is following the health recommendations. Young people and adults are wearing masks and others even have hand sanitisers tied to their bags.
But some of the vendors of vegetables, fruits and even masks are not protecting themselves and hence are exposing other people to risk.
"I do have a mask, but I carry it in my bag because it's hard for me to breathe," said a woman when asked why she was not wearing one.
She said she is aware of the risk she is exposing herself to.
"I know that I must wear my mask if I go to the street. Today I just came to buy some food so that I can be in my quiet house with my family for the rest of the week," she said.
A fruit vendor said he only took off his mask for a moment. He served two customers during that "moment." The Prime Minister said on Saturday that by Tuesday there would be legal backing to make wearing masks mandatory at public gatherings, as the country now has community spread of the virus. Currently, a breach of covid19 regulations is punishable by a fine of $50,000 or six months in jail.
Another risk factor is direct contact between people. On Monday, on several streets in Port of Spain, people greeted each other by shaking hands or touching, and some even with hugs.