Today Saturday, February 27th members of the Royal Virgin Islands police force in responding to a noise nuisance report, were forced to disperse a gathering at Sebastian’s BVI on the western end of Tortola after an event held at that venue drew a crowd that well exceeded the 175-person legal limit.
Both the event coordinator and the owner of the venue admitted that permission was not granted to host the event nor to exceed the limit provided under the COVID
-19 Suppression Regulations.
Public Health Order 2020 (Covid
-19 Control and Suppression Measures) states under subsection 4 that all gatherings shall be limited to one person per 64 square feet and shall not exceed 75 persons at any given time. In the case of graduations, weddings and funerals, gatherings which shall be limited to one person per 64 square feet and shall not exceed 175 persons at any given time:
The Order also states where the organizers of an outdoor event anticipate that the event will exceed a gathering of 75 persons, he or she shall make a written request to the Minister seeking permission to hold the event.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Jacqueline Vanterpool noted her disappointment to see such a flagrant breach when the rules are there to keep everyone safe.
“Police must enforce the orders as passed and sanctioned by Government. Business owners must continue to abide by the regulations or face the full enforcement of the law,” she said.
While noting the breach of protocols, the RVIPF did not confirm if the said business or event coordinator received fines or simply a warning. While the public is being advised by the RVIPF to uphold all COVID
-19 suppression measures until Government makes a change in the regulations, it is also imperative that fines set by Government also be upheld in ensuring patrons, businesses and event coordinators understand the seriousness of their actions.