The Barkeepers & Operators Association wants the Safe Zone initiative to include all non-essential retail businesses and the entertainment sector.
BOATT says since the start of the initiative on October 11th, no COVID-19 cluster has been linked to a safe zone establishment, with about 95% of participating businesses following the prescribed guidelines.
It argues that these statistics prove that Safe Zones work and justifies the extension of this initiative.
BOATT is also concerned about the increase in COVID-19 cases, together with the extremely low vaccination rate.
It believes the only way citizens and businesses can return to some semblance of normalcy is with vaccination.
It adds that government has done its part by providing access to four different brands of WHO approved vaccines and “now needs to make the final tough decision that is inevitable.”
103.1FM News spoke with BOATT President Satesh Moonasar, who stuck to the blunt statement in the release, that the choice of those who are unvaccinated should not hinder the functions of businesses and individuals.
He adds that persons have been given a choice, and with their choice comes consequences.
He also maintains that bar owners in particular have been bearing the COVID-19 burden for almost 18 months, while also being unfairly demonized.
Citing recent public criticism of crowds outside bars, he says this was not the case at most establishments, adding that bar owners cannot always control what happens outside their compounds.
He says there must be personal responsibility on the part of citizens and reminds bar owners that they can reach out to police to help in such situations.