The Barkeepers and Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) is calling for an expansion of the safe-zone initiative to all nonessential retail businesses and the entertainment sector.
In a statement on Tuesday, BOATT expressed satisfaction that no covid19 -clusters have been linked through contact tracing to a safe zone since the initiative started on October 11.
The association said despite some violations detected by the enforcement agencies, 95 per cent of participating safe-zone businesses follow the health ordinance and guidelines.
BOATT is concerned at the present increase in covid19 cases, together with the extremely low vaccination rate. On Monday, TT's covid19 death toll reached 1,977, with 8,695 active cases.
The association said the only way citizens and businesses can resume and return to some semblance of normality is through vaccination. BOATT said there is unwarranted and unjustified negativity towards vaccination in TT. Its executive commended the government for providing the population with easy access to four different brands of World Health Organization (WHO)-approved vaccines.
But BOATT said, "The individual choice of the unvaccinated is denying the entire population the right to earn an income and enjoy the wonders that TT has to offer."
The association said this should not be condoned nor encouraged, as the choice to be unvaccinated is the reason businesses and individuals are not allowed to function as they should and are hindered from continuing with their regular routines.
This decision has allowed the choice of the unvaccinated to dictate and basically hold the country to ransom and citizens can and should not be denied the right to earn an income and enjoy the natural beauty of our twin island republic."
The association said it was willing to work with and support all stakeholders and business entities who share nation-building goals, ideas, and initiatives. "We must all act, behave and do our part in a responsible manner, we must not take a political approach to the situation but rather unite our strength and minds to chart a new way forward so we can return to our normal daily living routines and business activity, so we may all live, prosper, and (thrive) in the ‘New Normal.’"