Businesses in Antigua and Barbuda have been largely compliant to the mandatory Covid-19 restrictions being imposed by the government, but according to the Chief Health Inspector, there is still room for improvement.
At present all establishments are required to ensure that patrons and staff adhere to the Covid-19 protocols to include social distancing, mask wearing, and handwashing.
Chief Health Inspector Sharon Martin shared with Observer that some establishments “have gone out of their way to make the effort to comply while others are still lagging behind”.
She disclosed that just yesterday, seven warning letters were served on defiant businesses and “if they fail to comply by a certain time, we are going to take action against them even if it means closing them down until they comply [or] taking them before the magistrate.
“Whatever we have to do, because I think it’s long enough for them to understand the real significance behind what we are asking them to do,” she said sternly.
Martin added that financial restraints have been an excuse offered by some businesses.
But the Chief Health Inspector posited that “economically it’s more beneficial that way than to have sick people in bed, in the hospital and they can’t come to shop to support your business”.
“Some would talk about not having the finance, but I try to show them a bucket with a pipe in it costs nothing, really — no more than $45 — and you could always go the government standpipe, full it up, and get the liquid soap,” she suggested.
“It will cost you more if people become ill because of poor practices, not following the protocols and [they] can’t come to your shop to buy. If you love your business, love your people,” Martin concluded.