COVID-19 update and press conference – Feb. 26, 2021. (PMO)

Business owners are responsible for their customers following the COVID-19 protocols while on the inside and outside of their premises.

Attorney General Dale Marshall reminded them of this responsibility during a COVID-19 Press Conference from Ilaro Court, this evening.

Mr. Marshall said: “In every instance, a business owner is responsible for ensuring that the people within his establishment, and that the people who are lining up outside of his establishment, follow the COVID protocols, plain and simple.

“So if you are a supermarket, it isn’t just the people who are inside of your supermarket that you’re responsible for; the people who are lined up on the outside also. The obligation is on you squarely to make sure that those people follow the protocols.  If they don’t follow the protocols, the liability is yours and your establishment can be closed.”

In addition, the Attorney General pointed out that the responsibility for customers applied not only to businesses with an established structure, and used the example of bread vans, which will be permitted to operate from Monday, March 1. 

“People who are operating bread vans have a legal obligation to make sure that their customers line up and follow the COVID protocols. Sometimes because we are not operating in a building with four walls and so on, doesn’t mean that you are relieved of that obligation, so bread vans, just like bread depots, will be allowed to operate, but in the event that the individuals are not following the protocols, we will shut them down regrettably in exactly the same way as we’ve shut down businesses,” Mr. Marshall explained.

He noted that the onus of responsibility for customers is nothing new and that in every directive, Government had stipulated that the businesses are responsible for what happens on the inside and outside of their operation. 

“So this is nothing new, and you will find it in the current directive and it will be repeated and is in fact repeated in the draft Directive No. Five,” the Attorney General said.

He urged the public to continue to follow the COVID-19 protocols and stressed: “The COVID Unit will be out in force over the next two weeks. They have been out in force before, but we are supplementing the manpower resources so that we can have as many people on the ground monitoring how Barbadians behave.”

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