A bar worker is hitting back at comments made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne concerning the mandatory vaccination of bar operators.
Bars have been closed for several months now and, over the weekend, PM Browne hinted that vaccination might become a prerequisite for their re-opening.
He said he was concerned that bars pose a very high risk for the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In an open letter, a person identifying herself as a bar worker says that “this is total wickedness without any proper rationale.”
According to the worker, the extended closure of bars has prevented owners and their workers from “earning a dollar.”
The employee does not agree with the sentiment that bars pose a greater risk of virus transmission, and notes that supermarkets — where people crowd up more than bars — are allowed to remain open.
Therefore, the writer takes the Government to task for putting “people out of bread without a stimulus to survive on,” when most bar workers live from pay cheque to pay cheque.
The employee says she was optimistic about reopening after hearing the curfew had returned to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. This, however, quickly turned to disappointment after her boss informed the workers that the Government had opted to keep bars closed.
“I start crying because it hard, it hard,” the employee laments.
She says it is clear that bars are not the problem, since the highest number of cases “ever reached” in the country was when bars were closed, and asks where the supporting data came from.
“I have something to tell the Prime Minister: There is no place in Antigua where more politics [is] discuss[ed] than in bars; so look out,” the writer cautions.
While admitting that keeping the cases down is important, she says that persons and their livelihoods are equally as important.
She begs the Prime Minister to give bar owners and workers a chance.
“I don’t even have $20 now… Oh Lord, Gaston, enough!” the letter concludes.