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Vaccinations may be mandatory for bar operators . . . bars, gyms and churches invited to make proposals to cabinet this week

By Latrishka Thomas

While the number of Covid-19 cases continues to decrease, the government is being cautious about how it impose relaxed protocols in different spheres of the country.

Last month, the government gave restaurants the greenlight to open for inhouse dining. And just this week, the curfew was shortened to 11pm-5am.

But the government is hesitant to reopen bars and gyms in particular.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne made this disclosure while speaking on Pointe FM on Saturday.

“Next Wednesday we hope to receive proposals for the reopening of churches and gyms, and I’ll say possibly bars, if we can get them to come up with a solution that will not allow for any spread. That is perhaps the most difficult proposition to reopen bars, but we are also mindful that they too need to live, and that there are many bar owners, bar operators and employees of bars who need to get back to work,” he said.

      Browne indicated that the Cabinet may make a harsh decision to make vaccinations mandatory for bar operators.

He said: “First of all, there is the implications for not getting vaccinated and the importance for getting vaccinated so we can achieve herd immunity and return to normalcy. Bar owners for example, one of the things we have to discuss with them is that if they are going to reopen, then the owners and the operators have to get vaccinated. If they refuse, they can’t open.

“We are going to have to take very firm decisions. People may say that we are taking a draconian position, but that’s one of the possible areas of spread.”

Meanwhile, the PM disclosed that several recent positive cases have been traced back to a car show at Ffryes Beach that was held a few weeks ago

“Between April 9 and the 17 we would have had about 32 new cases. As I said before, about 4 per day, and interestingly, a few of the cases were traced to the crowding at Ffryes Beach a few Sundays ago,” Browne said, as he concretised the government’s position on opening beaches on holidays.

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