Food sector resumes with tighter health protocols

Some restaurant outlets will be taking extra security and health precautions as the food service resumes following an almost three-month closure amidst surging COVID-19 cases.

While it’s an exciting occasion for stakeholders and customers, two fast-food franchises are assuring protocols will be in place to ensure proper health protocols are followed among the expected crowds. 
Prestige Holdings Ltd CEO Simon Hardy told Guardian Media there will be an increased security presence at their KFC restaurants. 
“We are implementing, particularly in KFC, some additional security just to help manage any crowds that we might expect due to the surge,” Hardy said yesterday.
“We’re not going anywhere. So what we’re just asking for is that people follow the rules that we’ve all become accustomed to. Follow the three Ws.”
He said staff were hard at work over the past week getting their branches ready for today’s reopening. KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays and Starbucks are all franchises under Prestige Holdings Ltd.
Global Brands Limited director Anthony Sabga-Aboud also said there will be increased surveillance for adherence to public health protocol at their various restaurants. 
“We are going to have some team members on the…floor of our restaurants to ensure compliance – to ensure customers sanitise their hands when they walk through the doors, ensure that they wash their hands (and that) all those different protocols are being followed,” he said.
On the reopening, Sabga-Aboud said: “We’re very excited for all our stores to be reopened. We are excited to welcome customers back into our doors, as well as our staff through our doors, who, I know, are happy to get back to work after having been out for the last 10 weeks.”
Global Brands Limited is the parent company of Pizza Boys, Church’s Chicken, Rituals Coffee House and Donut Boys. 
While food services are allowed to reopen today, no in-house dining,r consumption of any food or drink on the precincts, premises or roadside of the establishments, or the sale of alcohol is allowed. They are, however, free to do take-away service, roadside pick-up, curbside pick-up and drive-through services. 

Cops monitoring situation too

Meanwhile, those who are eager to head out to their favourite restaurant or roadside vendors are being warned by the TTPS to follow all road traffic laws or run the risk of being ticketed.

TTPS Road Safety Programme Coordinator, Sgt Brent Batson, yesterday told Guardian Media, “We are aware with food reopening, there is going to be more traffic and we will be commencing more enforcement during the day. We are also aware that persons may be tempted to gather outside or close to these food vending areas and may have coolers with alcohol to go with their meals and therefore, part of the increased patrol will be DUI testing,” Batson warned.

He said during the last lifting of restrictions, those who broke road traffic laws pleaded for leniency, citing the pandemic.

This excuse will not be accepted from today, Batson said.

“Imagine, you are stopping to buy a doubles for $5 and you end up paying a $1,000 no parking ticket, it will be a very expensive doubles. From the last time, people were getting upset with the police, saying ‘It’s COVID, allyuh could give us a break with the tickets’, but the officer has his job to do to and you can’t be blocking up traffic to get something to eat,” he said.

Batson said the patrols will also be focused on specific areas where there are food strips that usually cause traffic.

“For example, Ariapita Avenue, the area by Eddie Hart ground, we are looking at those areas where there is a lot of roadside vending, which sometimes results in a lot of traffic because persons are not adhering to the road rules. We are going to increase patrols in areas where we know there are known areas of congregation and roadside vending.”

Batson also said since the police had upped their presence on the nation’s roads in the hours before the nightly curfew goes into effect several weeks ago, there have been fewer accidents. He said the police have been doing all they can to ensure the nation’s roads are safer for the travelling public.

He also sent out condolences to the families of Kevin Thompson, four, Reane Nayan and her boyfriend Andre Ross, both 22, who died in two separate traffic accidents over the weekend.

Yesterday, Batson said there have been 45 road traffic deaths for the year, as compared to 57 for the same period last year – a 21 per cent decrease.

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