Officials clampdown on illegal parties in Barbados during COVID lockdown

February 08, 2021

Bridgetown, Barbados (CMC) – Officials put the brakes on four illegal parties, all held on Sunday, amid a two-week lockdown that has been imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Coordinator of the COVID Communications Unit, Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson said at a press conference that the parties were in breach of the Emergency Management (COVID-19) (Curfew) No. 3 Directive 2021.

“Today, alone, the [COVID-19] compliance team…broke up four parties. Yes, people are still having parties and they are not necessarily wearing their masks, and they are exceeding the number allowed,” she said.

“I am asked to remind you that it is not legal to have mass gatherings; that this could result in up to one year in prison, or a fine of up to BDS$50,000 (US$25,000). Now we don’t want to criminalise anybody; that is not the intention. We want to protect you and we want you to protect us and the rest of our country and our communities.”

During the February 3 to 17 period of “national pause", the directive states that no person shall host or attend a party.

Ambassador Thompson stressed the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation in Barbados, where community spread has been confirmed, and lamented that those people who were breaching the rules were putting everyone else in danger.

As of Saturday, 1,709 people tested positive for the virus. Of those, 291 were active cases, including 33 new ones.

Ambassador Thompson said that data emphasised why members of the public needed to comply with the national pause.

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