Sunday, April 14, 2024

Early closure for some restaurants


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The announcement of a curfew starting on Old Year’s Night sent the island’s party and dinner scene into a tailspin but restaurant owners said they were adjusting and support the Government’s health measures.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made the announcement on Thursday following a COVID-19 alarm due to local spread. The curfew will be in effect from midnight to 5 a.m. through January 14, 2021.

READ: Mottley announces curfew

At The Mews, Holetown, St James, managing director Chris Hoad said they completely respected the decision despite the expected losses.

“We had a New Year’s Eve party planned which is now cancelled and we already had people booked for dinner, so we are in the process of calling our clientele to see if they are still interested. We’ve had to move [reservations] forward and a lot of people have cancelled, which we have to refund. We are still operating for dinner, obviously within the protocols, though we have to make a decision in the next couple days as what the plan is going forward.

“This is by far the biggest night of the year for us and we were really looking forward to it, especially financially . . . but at the end of the day, I understand. The Prime Minister and the Minster of Health have kept us safe thus far, so I 100 per cent respect and support the decisions they have made.

“I am not a doctor or COVID specialist, I am a restaurateur and we have been allowed to ply trade, in a restricted fashion, over the past few months when others in other countries were not allowed to do that. So we have to adhere to the Government and experts, even though it will hurt us financially. We have gotten this far and we will live to fight another day,” he said.

Gerry Lewis, general manager of Radisson Aquatica Resort, Aquatic Gap, St Michael, said they had to scrap their original plans but were happy to do it for the sake of the country’s health.

“We were going to go until 2 a.m. with dinner and dancing but what we are doing instead is complying with the Prime Ministers mandate so we will be done by 10:30 p.m. to give staff and patrons time to be off the streets,” he said.

Lewis said they were already receiving cancellations but his concern was more about health than financial losses, saying “if this is what it takes, we are happy to comply”.

When contacted around 4 p.m., management at Café Sol said business was booming and they did not expect massive financial losses.

“We are going to take our last orders by 9 p.m. and will provide transport for our staff to get home before midnight. While we normally would have opened through midnight, we are actually very busy right now and we are grateful for whatever comes our way, we just have to wait and see what Government is going to do from here,” a spokesperson said. (CA)




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