Some bars cited but so far most have been following the rules

(PNC file photo)

Bars and taverns have been open for more than a week. So how has that affected Guam in light of the pandemic?

Bars and taverns were some of the last businesses to reopen.

That was because of the governor’s fears that the behavior associated with alcohol consumption would cause people to neglect COVID safety measures.

When PCOR 3 was declared a little more than a week ago, all eyes were on the bar industry as the governor’s controversial policy that kept them closed was finally lifted.

Division of Environmental Health Administrator Rosanna Rabago said that since then her organization has cited some bars for violations.

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“With respect to a lot of the citations we’ve been issuing, we’ve been finding violations with respect to not having the COVID-19 mitigation plan, or they’re not enforcing or implementing the use of facemasks, by both employees or even with their customers. And then also some restaurants have not had a written log for those diners who are coming into their facility,” Rabago said.

However, Rabago said that for the most part, there’ve been no signs that the reopening of bars has led to any significant problems.

Although it’s too soon to determine if the reopening of bars has affected Guam’s COVID numbers, Rabago said that on the ground, at least, things don’t seem too much different.

She said that establishments and customers seem to be mostly playing by the rules.

She also said that of the reports they’ve received, many of them are from members of the public, holding establishments accountable.

As far as the numbers of people gathering and moving in public, Rabago said that there hasn’t been much change there either.

“I would say we’re pretty much about the same. I mean I know the bars and taverns were much anticipated and long-awaited to open and I know the operators are very cognizant that DEH and Guam Police Department have the ability to issue citations. We’ve continued to work closely with GPD and our work, in terms of environmental health, is not just limited to the bars and taverns. We’re also conducting inspections at other facilities that we are inspecting for COVID compliance,” Rabago said.