WHILE food vendors have received the go-ahead for a phased reopening next Monday, the San Fernando City Corporation has said no to vendors on the Cross Crossing strip.
Vendors, who operate mainly from food trucks, offering an assortment of fast foods including burgers, gyros, corn soup, chicken and fries, were denied permission when they had an impromptu meeting with San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello on Wednesday.
Vendors asked to be allowed to do deliveries and curbside pick-up as well as on-the-spot preparation of items on their respective menus.
However, Regrello said that was not practical given the time constraint in which they normally operated on evenings and the curfew which is in effect from 9 pm.
He has asked them to hold strain for another two weeks, as Government begins its mass vaccination rollout with the arrival of 800,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines.
He said he is hoping that within that period the Prime Minister might further relax the health restrictions.
Regrello explained his decision.
“The council made a decision yesterday (Tuesday) to hold off on vending at Cross Crossing in particular, based on the nature of the activity there until August 2, hopefully.
“With the arrival of the vaccines, things might be a little more relaxed within the next couple of weeks and the Prime Minister may give us a little window of opportunity to do curbside
“Cross Crossing is unique and attractive, but it has its challenges."
He said the area where the food strip is located poses a logistical nightmare as the limited space will cause congregation with little chance of social distancing.
“How the area is structured people are not going to adhere to the protocols and guidelines outlined by the public health department.
“They are going to congregate as they have done in the past. Vendors have a two-hour window in which to operate from 7 pm-9 pm, that means they have to shut down by about 8 pm, to pack up and leave. Does that make sense?
“It is not like the restaurants which are open all day and you can call and order and pick up or deliver. You have to come, place your order and wait. And while you wait there is going to be a queue.
“People say why don’t we have police managing that, but how many officers you are going to put there?
“All we are asking is to hold on for another two weeks. You would not die in two weeks. Let’s hope that things would relax somewhat and that would give us some more space to operate. Our responsibility is to save lives.”