The Central Board of Health (CBH) recently trained nine COVID Compliance Officers to monitor business establishments for health regulation breaches.
The officers, who began their duties last Monday, can show up unannounced at establishments including bars and restaurants and request proof that the patrons are vaccinated in accordance with the health regulations.
“If they are dining, you don’t interfere with them to interrupt; if they are just sitting down, relaxing, drinking, they (the COVID Compliance Officers) can afford to go to the table and request seeing their vaccination card, just for verification,” explained Chief Health Inspector Sharon Martin, who organized the training sessions with the officers last week.
She told state media that some businesses have been giving lip service but have taken no steps to enforce COVID rules like mandatory mask wearing.
“Bar owners know. Some of them have up the sign saying masks must be worn but yet still they have people in there not wearing their mask and nobody is telling them anything,” Martin bemoaned.
Both the establishment owners and their patrons can be fined for flouting the rules.
CBH Chairman Eustace “Teco” Lake implored the public to cooperate with the compliance officers.
“We are not going to be argumentative; we’re looking for compliance so, as best as we can, I will be in the area along with police officers also to ensure that we’re getting the level of compliance that we’re looking for,” Lake said.