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Are TT Safe Zones a saving grace?

By Klysha Best

Safe Zones are turning out to be a hassle more than a saving grace for two businesses The Catholic News spoke to.

Trinidad and Tobago launched Safe Zones on October 11, 2021, allowing vaccinated members of the public to partake in specific activities.

In a media conference recently, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh explained that businesses that qualify to be a Safe Zone simply have to display the Safe Zone poster in order to be regarded as such. According to the Rules for TT Safe Zones, all employees must be fully vaccinated, and copies of vaccination cards kept on the premises for inspection (

If you are found in the Safe Zone unvaccinated, you will face a fine of $5,000.00, while businesses found hosting the unvaccinated incur a hefty $25,000 fine.

As a result of what they see as a headache, the Living Water Community (LWC) has decided to do away with the notion altogether of being classified as a Safe Zone.

Suzanne Dowdy, a coordinator with LWC, told The Catholic News that they made a decision not to participate in the Safe Zone initiative.

As they see it, monitoring customers to determine their ‘vax’ status is a lot of responsibility “plus the idea of being hit by the fine if you make a mistake is not something we would like to happen,” she said. Dowdy added they also felt that the Safe Zone could act as a deterrent and keep valued customers at bay.

Currently, there is no in-house dining at LWC, but customers are allowed to walk-in and take-away or opt for curbside pickup.

Dowdy pointed out that all staff and volunteers at LWC are vaccinated.

Under-12 age group left out of Safe Zones

Meanwhile, Joanna Rostant, managing director of YAY Entertainment, owners of Chuck-E-Cheese, stated in a recent interview that they would not be opening, as it does not make sense at all.

She pointed out that their business caters specifically to the under-12 age group who are unvaccinated and who have been completely left out of partaking in the Safe Zones, despite the fact that this age group has been indoors since March 2020 and there is no vaccine approved for their use at the time.

Rostant noted that children are visiting the malls and groceries with their parents but yet aren’t allowed to visit Safe Zones.

She said curbside pickup is not even an option for them as it does not fit in with their business model.