Tobago businessman Kirton Sorias believes the Government’s plan to resume in-house dining at restaurants at the end of the month will not be successful unless the curfew hours are adjusted.
During a news conference last Friday at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Blenheim, Tobago, Dr Rowley announced that bars, gyms, casinos and in-house dining will reopen for fully vaccinated patrons and employees at the end of September provided there is a significant increase in vaccinations.
As of Wednesday, the THA Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development reported that a total of 19,195 people in Tobago have been partially vaccinated and 14, 719 people are fully vaccinated. Line secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine said the division is hoping to vaccinate 70 per cent of the 51,000 people in Tobago who are 12 and over.
Sorias, who owns two restaurants in Crown Point, urged the Government to adjust the curfew, which currently runs from 9pm-5am.
“If it is he is going to open in-house dining and bars, he must adjust the curfew hours. A fine dining restaurant operates more in the evening. That is where you really make your profit, especially in Tobago, where the people of Tobago go out for dinner. They hardly go out for lunch,” he told Newsday.
“So if you are going to open in-house dining, I am calling on the Prime Minister, open in-house dining with an adjustment in the curfew hours, because you cannot open, otherwise you would have to do dinner from 5pm, and by 7pm it close.”
Sorias, who is also a Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association director, said the plan to resume in-house dining makes no sense under the existing curfew.
Sorias’ position echoed that of the Tobago Business Chamber.
The chamber’s president Martin George told Newsday on Friday he supports the plan but believes the emergency powers regulations must be changed to accommodate the food and entertainment sector. He also believes the Government will need to bring legislation outlining the provisions.