BVI News

First bars, nightclubs likely start to reopening later this week

Chief Environmental Officer in the Ministry of Health.

While government has lifted the ban on all bars, pubs, and nightclubs, those establishments must remain closed until inspected and given a reopening date by the Environmental Health Department, which is likely to be sometime this week.

This is according to the Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel Michael, who told BVI News his department is aiming to have the aforementioned businesses reopened once all the newly required COVID-19 protocols are in place.

He said: “We looking at any time between Wednesday and Thursday this week. I don’t know which day, but it’s somewhere between those dates.”

Michael said his department has been in consultation with the recently established Owners of Bars Association to get the member businesses informed on the new required protocols.

“We have 43 persons going around to check this. We have people going around in Sea Cow’s Bay and East End and around the country to make sure that they are not opened. We don’t want them to open without putting in the new guidance because there is some new guidance that they have to put in that speaks to dancing, karaoke, dominoes and different games and so on,” he explained.

A four-step process must be followed

Michael described a four-step process that each establishment must follow before their respective business can reopen to the public.

“First, the ongoing consultation with the owner of the bars and nightclubs. There is an Owners of Bars Association that has been formed and we are in consultation with them to ensure that we have safe guidelines, safe protocols before putting to use in the opening.”

“Second, there will be training of all bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Third, the bars, pubs and clubs will use the guidelines to prepare themselves for inspections. Fourth, we will conduct the inspection and upon completion of the inspections, we will make a determination as to what time they will open,” he added.

Some bars choosing to ignore notice

Michael further said some bars have been misusing the recent announcement made by the government as reasons to have their businesses opened.

“When the government made this announcement on the 7th of October, it clearly stated that bars, pubs and nightclubs can open, but they have to be inspected and passed inspection before they open for business. What we have found is that some bars and pubs have decided to ignore the second half of the government notice and proceeded to open their business,” he stated.

“We got information from the public and we visited those business places and they were closed immediately. Six of them were closed immediately, three of them in the East End community and about three of them in West End,” he added.

Bars and nightclubs were linked to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases which occurred in August and September.

The BVI has since fully recovered from all previously reported positive cases, and presently have zero known active cases of the virus.

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  1. smfh says:

    yet they don’t want to inspect the schools for the kids to go back but rum bars for drunkards to be up under each other.. waste of time and positions.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Because of puritanical and punitive religiousity, these businesses were made the scape goats and made to suuffer harsh punitive decisions by leaders of the community.

    They are still being wrongly singled out as a single source of spreading the virus and stopped from making a penny, but churches with a much larger gathering were allowed to open and make money.

    Again, is this all fair policying? No, h**l no!!

    Like 13
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  3. ENFORCEMENT says:

    Mr. Michael I applaud you and your team for the hard work that you all have put in from day one. Probably Covid needed to hit our shores to inform the bar and club owners that they can do a lot better. I am sure the community don’t mind that these businesses operate, but they to need to learn to respect the area in which they do business. Passing through areas, especially Long Look, Humtum’s Ghut and Sea Cow’s Bay it’s awful. The music and people sitting along the road is not becoming of a territory moving forward. No where in the world you see patrons hanging along the road just drinking. We have to set an example especially the younger generation. Driving through these areas with your children does not send a good message, especially when you have tourist in tour buses.

    We need to do better.

    Tourists on the way to the airport is bombarded with storms of people in front the rum shops.

    Outside the playroom in SCB, storms of Spanish people sitting outside.

    Is this what the BVI has come to.

    The Bar owners association need to put rules and guidelines in how they should operate. Or better yet, Town and Country should be the one to approving if these establishments are in a area that will not interfere with the neighborhood. It’s time to think about zoning.

    Mr. Michael, I encourage you to enforce the guidelines.

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    • @Enforcements says:

      You made some good points but the men are largely congregating along the road and outside of certain supermarkets without masks. Nota supporter of these bars but whether they are open or not, men are still hanging around the place without safety precautions.

    • Actually says:

      If your drive outside the capital of the Dominican Republic, that is exactly what they do. I was taken aback by the sheer volume of bars and drunken people in the road. Don’t get me started about the trash piled everywhere. They try their best to keep the touristy areas semi decent, but go to the real neighborhoods and you will understand.They are simply recreating their home here.

  4. HMMM says:

    Once GYMs are open any other business can open. No other gathering has more germs than a gym.

    Like 6
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    • Except Churches says:

      You want to spread germs? Visit a Church. No masks, people sitting 18″ behind and in front of you. Everyone singing and spraying their vapours all over you! Forget gyms. I never had anyone breathing all on me at the gym. But Church, is like visiting your auntie house on you birthday.

      Gyms and beaches are least of you worries!

  5. Anonymous says:

    We, i am all for development and progress, but it is totally unfair, heart breaking and mind blowing that one who has worked for decades and an entire career without getting his due wages, can see so much being spent, while none goes to the man who has laboured with total committment to the job, has contributed his entire professional, cognitive and human resources his entire life his to country gets nothing.

    To this moment in BVI history, not one person, from the highest office down to mid to lower managers see this case being implied here as a grievious wrong committed, and that it should be immediately righted, due to the lenghth and aggregious brutality and deprevations and the subsequent sufferings caused.

    It saddens to the point of tears, disbelief and worst.

    Indeed, some people are not worth nothing in the eyes amd minds of some. Their sufferings do not appear to trigger their conscience.

    Like 2
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  6. Please says:

    How can we possibly think we can run our own country when our journalists come up with headlines such as “First bars, nightclubs likely start to reopening later this week”? Our education system is nowhere near good enough.

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