Businesses on the Essequibo Coast want clarity on a numbers of COVID-19 guidelines which they feel affect how they operated. President of the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Aadil Bacchus confirmed that businesses expect his organisation to make that query.
Section 17 (5) of the Gazette, stated that persons entering a ‘public building’ must be vaccinated, or produce a negative PCR test result. ‘Public building’ as interpreted by the Gazette, includes both public and privately owned buildings, or businesses.
Based on reports reaching this publication, most businesses on the Essequibo Coast operated at ‘normalcy,’ yesterday, Monday. Further investigation revealed that while some business owners were completely unaware of the updated Gazette, others were confused as to how the new directive should be implemented. In reality, almost all businesses did not request a vaccination card, nor a PCR test result from clients.
The ECCI president explained that the ‘enforcer’ is not clearly outlined in the updated Gazette. “So, some businesses have their own interpretations. Some believe that the police should be the enforcer while some believe that they [businesses] themselves can police the law.
Bacchus went on to say, “Training needs to be done, because no business owner is trained to police the law, we would have to go through some training. And this new guideline will have to be applied evenly to everybody [businesses]… Somehow to government has to put in a mechanism to ensure that this is applied equally to the market vendors and the huge businesses.”
Over the past months, the issue of vaccination has become quite a controversial subject, with even prominent politicians pitching their views.
Bacchus told this publication that the Chamber is an apolitical organization, which aims at steering from political affiliation. “As a business organization, we want to stay away from being political, it has become a political issue at the moment. The main objective for any business person is to determine what is good for business, at the moment the health of the country is what is best for business, and we have to balance that with profit.”
When asked whether the new guideline will be potentially beneficial for business, the Chamber president said, “it’s a tricky road to walk. In business one solution will not fit every business, that is why some businesses share different views; saying that its optional or mandatory, and half believe its not. But generally, a calm stable environment is best for business, and we hope that we can have this once we meet with the commander this Thursday as we seek clarity.”