BEACHES will be open to the public for extended hours from Monday. Rivers will also be reopened to the public on Monday, with certain restrictions.
The Prime Minister made these announcements during a news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's on Saturday. At a news conference at the same venue on December 18, 2021, he announced the reopening of beaches from 5 am-noon.
Expressing satisfaction with the management of the beaches since last month to now, Rowley said the opening hours for beaches will be extended from 5 am to 2 pm.
He also announced the reopening of rivers to the public.
But these came with some restrictions. Rowley listed these as no gatherings of more than ten people, no alcohol consumption, no fires, no music and no parties.
In a statement, legal adviser to the Santan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) Dinesh Rambally welcomed the announcement of rivers being reopened. He said the SDMS stands ready to work with Government to suggest specific protocols to allow Hindus to resume traditional religious activities at rivers.
PM: Carnival still possible
THE Prime Minister maintained that the staging of Carnival 2022 remains possible.
Rowley reiterated that some elements of Carnival could take place this year once proper health protocols are in place. He said large gatherings which have become common with Carnival celebrations over the years cannot be held, given the current state of the covid19 pandemic and the rising threat of the omicron covid19 variant.
"It will be numerically smaller, because we do not want to have the gatherings."
Rowley said the Community Development Ministry; Tourism, Culture and the Arts Ministry and other stakeholders will meet this week to discuss what format Carnival 2022 will take.
In the Senate on January 11, Tourism, Culture and the Arts Minister Randall Mitchell said no decision has been taken on the staging of Carnival 2022 and no budget has been determined for it either.
Mitchell said the idea of predetermined, pre-approved covid19 safe-zone venues for Carnival has been discussed in the consultations with stakeholders.
Rowley also said he will hold discussions with Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Farley Augustine this week about finding ways for reef tour operators in Tobago to resume operations, in line with covid19 protocols.
He was also hopeful that depending on how covid19 cases are managed, more children would be able to attend physical classes in school in February.