RESTAURANT owner Stacia Lindsay has expressed relief over the lifting of the state of emergency (SoE) by the Prime Minister but she remains concerned by the covid19 infection rate.
The Prime Minister announced on Saturday that Parliament will meet Wednesday to discontinue the SoE and the accompanying 10pm to 5am curfew. The SoE, which began in May. was scheduled to end on November 29.
As of Monday, there were 403 new cases in TT and 6,971 active cases.
With full service at restaurants and no restriction on hours of operation, Lindsay, the owner of Fairways Restaurant and Golf Lounge, Lowlands, is cautiously optimistic. Restaurants and bars have been allowed to operate as safe zones for vaccinated customers only.
"I'm relieved and anticipating to see how things will be," Lindsay said, "but we still have to be careful and worried because the (covid19) cases still going up as well. We still have to be careful and hope persons go and get vaccinated so we can still be a little more relaxed going out. But I am still anticipating things are gonna be better."
Lindsay said the end of the SoE does not necessarily mean light at the end of the tunnel.
"We still have to wonder whether things will lock back down again. It's like one hand we putting out but we have to hold back a little bit not knowing how things gonna turn out."
Lindsay said her restaurant will maintain its 10am to 8pm hours of operation for the next week. She said she plans to observe how the public responds to the SoE being lifted before adjusting the hours.
Bar owners are also eagerly anticipating a boost in sales when the SoE ends.
In an interview with Newsday on Monday, Moon Over Water bar owner Ricardo Maximin said, "I am hoping and believing it will be a positive impact. There will be some readjusting to the hours."
Maximin said the previous adjustment of the curfew to start from 10 pm instead of 9pm had made little difference to sales.
"Personally, with the extra hour, it's only by chance you find yourself pushing that (closing time).
"Yes, I'm looking forward to it (being lifted)."
Maximin said his patrons have been following the health protocols.
"I am only allowed to open as a safe zone. I have the barrier at the door. I didn't like the idea of the segregation with the vaxxed and the unvaxxed but everybody following the rules, even though they might not be happy about it.
"I'm open to everybody, but to come inside the bar you have to be vaccinated, but we're allowing whoever on the outside to purchase (and go)."
Maximin said he anticpates more Trinidadians will come to Tobago when the SoE ends.
He said he has already seen a few arriving and enjoying the safe zones.
"Yes, not as much on our end (in Black Rock) but in Crown Point. I took a drive there over the last few days. I've seen them making the best out of what is available. The vaxxed are inside but the unvaxxed are doing the takeaway an adhering to it."