Barbados: Rum Shops Blame Delta Wave For Falloff In Customers

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Barbados Today:-  In the face of a curfew intended to limit socialising that could drive coronavirus infections, rum shop and bar operators blame a dropoff in sales on a wave of cases and deaths.

Several proprietors have told Barbados TODAY that fewer patrons have been visiting their establishments. They also reported that while concerns have been raised about persons around rum shops and bars not following the protocols, customers have been coming, buying what they need and vacating the premises as soon as possible.

The operators insisted that not only have they been taking customer temperatures and ensuring that they sanitize before they are allowed to enter wearing masks but they have also been restricting the number of patrons allowed on the inside of their facilities at the same time.

One shop owner, who only gave his name as De Captain, said because the majority of his customers live in the neighbourhood, he has no issues getting customers to follow COVID-19 protocols.

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He said: “And recently, they have been doing it. We don’t have to tell any person anything twice. They are just following the protocols. Recently, all sales were down, there ain’t no big lot of traffic within the last two or three weeks.

“So, as you can see, from the time you have been here, you only see one customer coming into the shop. So, it’s really a dead time too. So, with the spike in cases, we believe that people saving their money now and only buying essentials. But, business is not as usual at all.”

De Captain further explained that as the Government’s 9 p.m. curfew approaches, customers stopped coming to the shop and that within the past two to three weeks, people have stopped mingling outside the shop.

“I end up closing early on afternoons. By 6 o’clock I close up and leave,” De Captain said.

The operator of Wilma’s Bar, Rihanna Drive, Westbury Road, said she too has been ensuring that customers follow the protocols, even though there are a few who do not wear their masks or have their temperatures taken.

Those who refuse to follow the safety protocols are not allowed to enter the establishment, she said.

“They have to step out,” she told Barbados TODAY. “I don’t sell anything to them. I don’t have any gatherings, I don’t have any customers, I have not been working or selling anything for a very long time. I cut back a lot.

“I have been going in at 5:30, 6 o’clock. I have not been selling any pudding and souse. On Saturdays I usually sell six or seven souse or so, now I only sell like four soups and about three or four souse. I have not been getting any sales lately.”

Another owner said absolutely no gathering is allowed inside or outside of his bar, and noted that he believes that if all operators insist that customers follow the protocols, they would be playing their role in helping to curb the spread.

A customer at a bar said while he was concerned about the climbing COVID-19 cases, he believes that authorities need to do much more to curb the spread of the virus.

The surge of infections has been linked to the highly contagious Delta variant.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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