The Star (Jamaica)

Delta presents new worry for restaurant owners


Some restaurate­urs are petrified of the potential effects the Delta variant of COVID-19 could have on their businesses.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness on Wednesday confirmed that of the 40 samples that were tested for the virulent strain, 22 of them have tested positive.

The Delta variant, which is said to be more severe than the original strain, prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States to advise persons to wear a mask in public indoor places such as bars and restaurant­s, even if they are fully vaccinated.

In response to yesterday’s confirmati­on that the Delta variant has reached Jamaican shores, owner of the Blue Mahoe Estate Café, Shaun Tomlinson, said she he is very concerned.

“The whole COVID situation has been a real up and down for us. It’s a very bipolar time period for us right now, in terms of just how to deal with our customers and the new hours, so I can imagine that this new variant being present in Jamaica is going to cause new restrictio­ns that are going to affect business greatly,” Tomlinson said.

Domonic Chin-Sang, owner of the Offshore

Seafood Lounge, which is located on Constant Spring Road in Kingston, said he had already assumed the Delta variant was here.


“This is another cause for concern, yes, but we just have to do what we have to do.”

“I’m not sure what we’ll do. It’s dependent on what the Government says, but outside of that, restaurate­urs just have to make due and adapt in any way possible. If that is the call by the Government, we just have to work with it.”

Jamaica has recorded 5,949 new cases of COVID19 since the start of the month, with the total confirmed cases moving from 53,428 on August 1, to 59,377 on Tuesday. The number of active cases moved from 4,826 to 10,095, and deaths have jumped by 139 over the same period.

Medical Associatio­n of Jamaica President Dr Andrew Manning, and Dr Mindi Fitz-Henley, president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Associatio­n have called for a tightening of the measures to control the spread of the virus.

The current COVID-19 prevention measures mandate that restaurant­s can have up to 50 per cent of their capacity at a time, and must close one hour before the nightly curfew, which starts at 7 p.m.

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