As of September 1, patrons to night clubs and bars must provide proof of being fully vaccinated or risk not being admitted.
This new measure is one of several amendments to the Environmental Health Regulations announced by Minister of Health Hon. Jamell Robinson during his news conference on Wednesday, to update the country on his government’s fight against the dreaded COVID-19.
“Patrons at night clubs and bars must provide proof of being fully vaccinated,” Minister Robinson emphasized, adding that proprietors will be responsible for ensuring that their patrons are fully vaccinated and logged for enforcement officers to peruse every Monday.
“Bars and clubs to be fully responsible for verifying the identity and vaccination status of all participants and a logbook kept and shared with the Ministry of Health and the Environmental Health Department every Monday,” he added.
The health minister also announced the introduction of a venue electronic identity tagging system for persons attending individual venues, to come into effect from September 14.
“This means that any given proprietor must be able to give the number of persons in their establishment at any given time or upon request, specifically from a compliance officer,” Minister Robinson announced.
In addition, Minister Robinson pointed out that cabinet has also approved a 50 percent capacity to all events venues, unless granted clearance for additional patrons by either the Environmental Health Department or the Chief Medical Officer.
“No persons shall host an event consisting of 50 persons or more without the approval from the Chief Medical Officer or Chief Environmental Health Officer. And in this instance, the definition of an event are as follows: something that happens at any given time and place, including hotels, bars, and restaurants… for example a show, a party, karaoke, musical festivals, house parties, private banquet, ball, dance etc.,” the minister explained.
He also announced that no work permits will be granted to foreign entertainers.
“Work permits or temporary work permits should not be granted to performers for the purpose of performing at social events,” he said.
He explained that the reduction in capacity of events and the non-issuing for work permits for entertainers are loophole-closing measures, which he said an events promotor managed to take advantage of recently.
Minister Robinson told the news conference that some of the main perpetrators of protocol breaches are known.
“In terms of all nightclubs and bars’ occupancy being reduced to 50 percent, based on the displays, and where these breaches of protocols are taking place, right now they are the primary locations…they might not be the only locations…but they are definitely the primary locations.
“Unfortunately, the innocent (are) ending up suffering for the guilty, because there are some establishments that follow the law, enforce their protocols, but we can’t pick and choose which ones we could say, ‘well, you have do this, and (and to others) you can continue at that’. So, to ensure that we minimize the chance of the spread, capacity has to go back down,” the minister explained.
In the meantime, Minister Robinson stated that the measure to enforce vaccinated-only patrons enter to bars and nightclubs was a risk-management initiative.
“When it comes to patrons being fully vaccinated at these same locations, again, it’s about risk management. Because if you are going to be in this location, it’s better you be fully vaccinated to minimize your ability to spread (COVID-19) or to get it.
“You are still subject to the health protocols i.e. to distancing, wearing of mask etc., so just because you are fully vaccinated in this situation, does not mean the health protocols go out the window,” Minister Robinson reasoned.