Hanover bars under scrutiny


WESTERN BUREAU:

THE REOPENING of community bars and taverns in Hanover has sparked the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) and the Social Development Commission (SDC) into action, as they are now collaborating in a survey to determine if these businesses are operating at the required standard.

Community bars and taverns were ordered closed by the Government over a month ago as part of the national effort to stem the spread of the much-feared coronavirus (COVID-19).

Proprietors of community bars and taverns were given a seven-day notification period recently for them to take the requisite steps to be in compliance with new protocols.

The temporary re-opening protocols will apply for two weeks and began on Tuesday, during which the bars and taverns will undergo continuous inspection for their adherence to the new rules, which will ultimately determine any future government action with respect to their continued opening.

Some of the new measures stipulate social and physical distancing must be maintained no more than five people, including the bartender, shall be in the bar at any one time, and all seating arrangements outside the bars must be maintained, that is physical distancing of six feet between each single-seating unit.

Approximately 30 individuals were recently identified and trained at the HMC by the SDC. They will be asked to survey bars and taverns over the next two weeks to see if they are adhering to government requirements.

OBJECTIVE OF SURVEY

While emphasising that his team is not doing inspections of the bars and taverns, Parish Manager of the SDC in Hanover, Mashario Bissassor, says the objective of the survey is to see how much the new protocols are understood and are being followed by the bar and tavern operators.

“What we are doing is to train 30 persons to carry out a survey instrument across the parish, and that instrument basically asks general questions, such as if they are registered with the spirit licensing body, if they have the necessary permits to include fire regulations, if they have installed sanitisation station and have made arrangement for the necessary social distancing, and things like that,” Bissassor told The Gleaner.

“Yesterday, we did (surveyed) 29 bars in Lucea and while they were not fully compliant, we see where efforts were being made by the bar operators to ensure full compliance. They were also eager to get all their licenses so that they could operate without being hindered,” Bissassor pointed out.

There is an estimated 400 community bars and taverns in Hanover, with most having at least one employee.

Bissassor noted that the biggest requirement for persons to be included in the survey team was for them to be literate. They were also required to be living in the areas where the survey was being done. The team is made up of 70 per cent females.

Story first appeared at JamaicaGleaner.com


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