I read a report of a COVID-19 taskforce raid at Sleepin Hotel bar on Sunday evening, January 17. Firstly, I welcome the enforcement of rules relating to COVID-19; it protects my health. But enforcement is not consistent across the nation as I observed in my travels from coast to coast.
I was told that the curfew for COVID-19 at public restaurants and bars is 10:30, not 06:30 pm. Thus, I am shocked to read that a raid occurred at 18:00h (06:30 pm) at Sleepin. If it was to enforce social distancing, mask-wearing, and size of the crowd, it is welcomed. PS: I passed at the sea wall around 18:00 (06:00 pm) on Sunday night. There were hundreds of people close to one another “partying” with many not wearing masks and very close to one another. There was no anti-COVID-19 raid there.
I frequented the Sleepin bar almost daily over the last week, meeting guests and or entertaining friends. I did not notice violations of the COVID-19 rules on social distancing and mask-wearing. Everyone I saw had a mask. Because of the nature of a bar, it is expected that not all the time people would observe social distancing of six feet. Drinks and/or snacks have to be served. Everyone had a mask except when sipping a drink or eating something.
Sleepin is a hotel. The proprietor is expected to serve drinks and meals to guests. The public is discouraged from patronising indoor public restaurants and bars. Guests have to eat and drink. The Sleepin bar and restaurant is outdoor; outdoor dining is not “outlawed” although there are restrictions. It is not enclosed. The tables are spaced out as per requirements of social distancing. The risk of infection is minimised under such conditions.
No doubt the owner of Sleepin must have recognised the serious threat to health posed by COVID-19. And I am sure the proprietor took the above measures to mitigate the threat to staff and guests. The hotel must address the needs and demands of guests in order to retain their business or else they would go somewhere else. As best as I know, no one’s health has not been threatened at Sleepin. It is hoped that the hotel was not targeted. Have other hotels been raided? It is the same hospitality business; they must address the demands of guests without posing a threat to public safety.