IT WAS clearly a case of two cities.
While several businesses in Port of Spain were busy on Friday preparing for an expected announcement by the Prime Minister of ease up in covid19 public health restrictions at the Ministry of Health’s press briefing on Saturday, businessmen in San Fernando were not so enthusiastic.
People in San Fernando and environs said they are hoping that Government relaxes restrictions in the fight against the pandemic. But they have adopted a wait-and-see approach, saying that in the past, they sanitised their businesses only to have their hopes dashed.
When Newsday visited several places including churches, gyms and food outlets, there was no preparation for the possibility of an ease of covid 19 restrictions.
At Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC church at Harris Promenade, San Fernando, there were no activities. Nearby at St Paul’s Anglican, one person was seen cleaning the compound. Newsday learned that it was a “routine cleaning.”
At TGIF in Gulf City Mall, take out operations only continued with chairs turned upside down to prevent people from sitting inside. Workers declined to speak, saying they were doing auditing work. “It does not make sense that people start preparing for the opening up of the economy when cases keep rising,” a passerby said.
The Fitness Center Ltd at South Park as well as Health and Fitness Gyms remained closed. When Newsday made a similar tour some weeks ago, the scene was different with sanitising preparations underway.
“All preparations went in vain because we did not get the ease. This time around, we are waiting to see what will happen. One after, we will decide our next move,” said a businessman on Friday.
Prime Minister Dr Rowley is expected to speak at the ministry’s press conference on Saturday. In contrast, several businesses in Port of Spain were busy with sanitisation work on Friday.
Staff at Texas de Brazil at Movietowne in Port of Spain as well as in other food outlets in the capital were busy cleaning the dining areas which have been closed to the public for several months as per health restrictions in place because of the pandemic.