These so-called “TT Safe Zones” is a conceptual disaster and will undoubtedly be worse in practice. We shudder to think of the chaos that it will cause if implemented.
We fear that businesses will fail to even generate enough income to cover operational costs.
Functioning at 50 percent capacity, out of a population pool of 42 percent vaccinated, means that only 21 percent of the population is permitted to patronize these businesses at any point in time.
I expect that these chambers and businesses that are currently supporting this safe zone policy will eventually ask for it to be discontinued.
The following must be considered: no one under the age of 12 will be allowed in the safe zone, and vaccinated people will be expected to show proof of vaccination along with a form of identification.
To open family entertainment places like cinemas and water parks makes no sense if children under 12 cannot have access since there is no approved vaccine for that age group.
What does Faris expect parents to do? The obvious answer is that families with children under 12 will not use these safe zones, thus reducing the authorised pool of customers even further.
Furthermore, the impracticality of this safe zone policy for hotels is obvious. In Tobago, it eliminates any “vaccinate to operate” benefits.
Will the police officers or health inspectors first have to show their vaccination paperwork before they are allowed to enter any business for inspection?
In addition, the unvaccinated employee is now expected to produce a PCR test every two weeks to continue to work, but who pays for this? This contradicts the opinion of the President of the Industrial Court, Deborah Thomas-Felix, that terms of employment cannot be arbitrarily changed by an employer.
Clearly, these are unrealistic measures that foster neither health nor economic advantages.
The failure of this so-called TT Safe Zone policy will turn out to be yet another reason why Faris Al-Rawi must either resign, or be fired.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition