COVID-19 Monitoring Unit takes action against PSV breachers
The COVID-19 Monitoring unit is showing it means business.
On Wednesday (July 29) 18 public service vehicles (PSVs) were pulled off the road by officers of the Unit. Operators of these PSVs were found to be in breach of the COVID-19 protocols related to public transportation.
Ronald Chapman, Director of the Unit, revealed that officers inspected between 130 and 150 PSVs and Transport Board buses and the specific breach cited in the case of the 18 PSVs was that passengers, conductors or drivers were not wearing masks.
The operators of the vehicles found to be in breach were ordered to cease business for the remainder of the day.
Chapman warned that similar action would be taken in coming days if operators and users of public transport continue to flout the stipulated protocols.
“The officers from the Monitoring Unit will be back out tomorrow and every day after that to make sure that the protocols are being adhered to. The protocol of mask wearing on public service vehicles and buses is aimed at protecting the health of the public. People are sitting in close proximity to one another on these vehicles and therefore there can be no physical distancing. By wearing the mask, you are protecting yourselves and the others around you,” Chapman stressed.
The Director of the Monitoring Unit made it clear that the masks must be worn not only by the driver and conductor, but also by every passenger travelling on the vehicles.
He added: “We all have a responsibility to make sure that we prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in this country. The protocols are clear, and the job of the Unit is to make sure they are observed by everyone. We urge the public to cooperate with us as we seek to carry out this mandate.”
Last Monday (July 20) COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter had warned that all those businesses which did not comply with the protocols according to the standards of the Ministry of Health would be closed down.
Failure to abide by these rules could result in a fine of $50,000 or one to two years imprisonment.
The Monitoring Unit went into full effect from Tuesday, July 21, 2020. It was established to ensure that Barbadians abide by the rules and regulations as it relates to several COVID-19 protocols established.
There has been a series of protocols for different sectors across the country. Those which apply to public service vehicles can be accessed here.