Police to patrol places of entertainment this weekend – PM
The police will patrol Heritage Square and other places of entertainment this weekend to enforce the order given by the Commissioner of Police, cancelling permission to play amplified music.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves in an interview on Star Radio Friday morning said if operators of places of entertainment do not comply with the order, they stand the risk of being shut down.
“If this evening, it is reported to me that the police have difficulty with people at Heritage Square because … they’re still playing music, and if people are not sensibly looking at personal distancing and physical distancing, and the problem is such that it cannot easily be solved, and the thing is thoroughly systemic, well then, closure comes on the agenda for Heritage Square.”
He said similarly, the police will be patrolling bars and nightclubs later tonight.
“Tonight, the police should be up and about and I hope the nightclubs get the message and they don’t go and tempt fate in playing their music, because the police will come.”
He said he intends to speak to Commissioner of Police Colin John about the requirement.
“I’m going to remind the Commissioner and he knows this. And he has a regime in place for the police officers to check these places,” Gonsalves said.
He also reminded those who have been told to self quarantine that although they are doing it voluntarily, if they break it, the authorities will go to court to get an order, which will have a legal sanction if broken.
“When I say you are given the option by the authority to go into voluntary quarantine or to go in a compulsory quarantine, the fact that they give you the option and say is voluntary, it doesn’t mean that it is not mandatory … you must do it.”
“I want that to be understood…. I want that to come across, clearly, and it’s applicable to everybody.”
He said he had intended to attend two funerals in his constituency this weekend, but he has been given a directive by the Chief Medical Officer that he must not attend because of the present situation.
The Prime Minister asked that his constituents and members of the bereaved families understand.
He said he hoped that those who do attend the funeral do not all go into the church to be jammed together, but stay outside at a distance.
“It would be good if instead of five members of a family go, one goes to represent the family now,” Gonsalves recommended.
He said in a free and democratic society, he is hoping to build consensus about physical distancing and that we are all educated about this virus and how to protect ourselves.
He said the government is doing things incrementally in relation to COVID-19.
“… In some cases, the ramping up is accelerated depending on the objective assessment of the risks, in all the circumstances, how you’re managing the risk.”
On March 26, the Commissioner of Police notified that as a result of the precautionary measures adopted by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to treat with the spread of Coronavirus and COVID- 19, all permission to play amplified music in any public place or in any private premises is cancelled until further notice; by authority vested in the Commissioner of Police under Section 17 of the Noise Act, Chapter 278 of the Revised Edition of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 2009. Members of the public are further advised to adhere to the social distancing guidelines that have been issued by the Ministry of Health and the Environment.