Fri | Aug 14, 2020

Help could be coming for bar operators impacted by COVID

Published:Wednesday | March 25, 2020 | 5:04 PM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness - File photo

Assistance may be coming for bar operators who have experienced hardship as a result of the ban on their operations.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, speaking during a special digital COVID-19 town hall meeting today, disclosed that the government is working on a way to assist these persons, noting that the issue was again discussed yesterday as the administration announced its stimulus package for those impacted by the virus.

READ: COVID bailout - axed workers to get payouts

Holness was quick to point out that the government would have to verify genuine beneficiaries before moving ahead with any possible consideration.

That’s why he says he has asked the Ministry of Local Government to collate a list of holders of spirit and tavern licenses.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie, who was on the panel, disclosed that the exercise is now under way, adding that the number of license holders in Jamaica is significant.

All bars, nightclubs and other places of entertainment were ordered closed effective March 18 as part of the government’s coronavirus response measures.

Since then, owners and operators have complained that they have been displaced financially due to the restriction.

“We don’t takes these decisions lightly, we understand the repercussions,” Holness said.

Holness said after receiving the document, he will make a decision.

- Jerome Reynolds

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