June 07, 2021
SEVEN businesses were cited for breaking COVID-19 Emergency Orders over the Labour Day weekend, resulting in over $26,000 in fines being issued, according to the head of COVID Enforcement Unit.
Chief Superintendent of Police Zhivargo Dames, officer in charge of the Cable Beach Police Station and the COVID Enforcement Unit, told The Tribune yesterday the figures are a major improvement compared with the number of citations on past holiday weekends.
In April, for example, COVID ambassadors cited organisers of an event held over the Easter break nearly $100,000 for breaching COVID-19 rules, which currently prohibits social gatherings in New Providence.
Videos of the event made the rounds on social media, sparking public outrage.
Similar parties have been hosted over the course of the pandemic, despite repeated warnings from officials that such events could be a “super spreader” for COVID-19.
Yesterday, Chief Supt Dames said it appears Bahamians are finally starting to heed the message.
He said: “Over this holiday weekend, Friday to date, the COVID-19 Enforcement Unit alone, we would’ve cited some seven businesses for breach of the emergency orders. Citations issued in the tune of some 26 plus thousand of dollars for any number of breaches were it operating a prohibited business or persons’ social gatherings or persons patronising a prohibited business.
“I am (also) pleased to say that over the holiday weekend, we actually cited one person for failing to wear a mask. One person was cited. No person was cited for breach of curfew. These numbers only speak for the COVID-19 Enforcement Unit. It doesn’t speak for the other police stations and the likes.
“I am pleased by these numbers,” Chief Supt Dames added. “They are low. If you go by the numbers here by the Labour Day holiday up to last night (Saturday), it appears that the Bahamian populace are adhering to the protocols and we know that the holiday in itself is an active period and for us to yield these type of numbers over the holiday, I would say I believe that the Bahamian populace are beginning to heed to the protocols.”
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