Tuesday 29 September, 2020

COVID-19 Unit closes four bars, pulls two party buses off the road

Four bars along the south coast were closed by the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit on Sunday and two party buses were pulled off the road that same evening. 

As officers of the unit made their rounds this weekend the four establishments and those on the two buses were found to be in breach of the protocols relating to the wearing of masks in public spaces.

In a statement Ronald Chapman, Director of the Unit, identified Chill Bar in Hastings, 6 Mix Bar in Worthing along with McBrides and Hal’s Bar in St. Lawrence Gap as the bars which were closed on Sunday evening.

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He pointed out that all four bars had been given prior warning about contravening the protocols especially those primarily related to barmen not wearing masks or face shields and to some patrons not wearing masks.

Chapman went on to explain that it was mandatory that masks be worn when people were walking around the establishments for any reason, such as going to the bar or the rest rooms. The protocol only allowed for masks to be removed by patrons when sitting with their own groups to socialise and drink.

The two party buses, which drove through St Lawrence Gap while the officers of the Unit were on the job, were subsequently ordered off the road because patrons were “packed close together jamming to loud music” and they were also observed without masks. 

The Director of the Unit made it clear that officers will continue their surveillance of bars, restaurants and other public spaces on a weekly basis and anyone caught contravening the protocols faced the possibility of business closure.

Last Wednesday (July 29), 18 public service vehicles (PSVs) were pulled off the road by officers of the Unit. The PSV operators were found to be in breach of the COVID-19 protocols related to public transportation.

On Monday July 20 COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter had warned that all businesses which did not comply with the established protocols would be closed down.

Failure to abide by these rules could result in a fine of $50,000 or one to two years imprisonment.

All protocols can be found on the Government Information Service website.

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