To All Providers,
I have been receiving calls from members asking me what the protocols are for the various restaurants in Puerto Rico.
My answer is I do not know and I do not have the time with 16 days before the start of the convention to be calling up every restaurant in PR to find out what their protocols are.
As I had suggested in a previous email to all of you, I suggested that you call the restaurants that you are planning to visit and find out what their requirements are. Then I would suggest you contact the unions you are inviting and convey to them what the policy of that restaurant is. Members should not be calling me asking if they will be able to go to a restaurant if they are not vaccinated,
I can tell you that every restaurant is different. For instance I spoke to the owner of Bottles and he advised me that he is only allowed to operate at 50% capacity because he has decided he does not want to require a vaccination nor ask for a negative test. So he has decided to only operate at 40% to be certain he is not hit with a violation. However if he closes the restaurant he can do what he wants because it will be considered a private party. He informed me that every restaurant has their own protocols. Some will only allow fully vaccinated people to enter.
I am sure you know that there will be members in attendance that have decided to not be vaccinated. That is their personal choice and if not being vaccinated stops them from being in a restaurant that you have chosen there will be nothing you can do. This is why I suggest you call in advance to avoid a situation where members you have invited are barred from entering.
And as I will be telling the members, you should read the protocols I sent that are currently in place. Those protocols were not written by the Caribe Hotel. They are part of an executive order by the Governor of PR and they are required to follow them. So when I am asked if it is required to wear a mask when inside and not eating or drinking the answer is yes as per the existing order from the Governor. You will find that every hotel worker regardless of their particular duties will be wearing masks.
Many of these protocols should not come as a surprise because similar rules are in place in New York. Our convention is going to be well attended. To date there will be 62 unions in attendance and close to 60 service providers. It has been a tough year and a half and all of us are anxious to get away and try to put a little normalcy back in our lives.
I am looking forward to a successful convention and seeing all of you. It will be worth the adjustments we will have to make to be together once again.
Peter Meringolo, NYSPEC Chairman