As the borders reopen this Saturday, government is cracking down on people offending under the Covid regulations by reverting back to the early pandemic set-up of the RCIPS handing out tickets to offenders, rather than requiring rule breakers to attend Court. It is anticipated that such on-the-spot fines will ensure people to stick to the rules and thereby reduce community spread further, when visitors begin to arrive.
While people will still be prosecuted for certain offences under Covid rules, the police have a list of 27 offences for which they can hand out fines on the spot. Premier Wayne Panton outlined these new procedures at a press conference held on Thursday 18 November, just before the opening of the borders two days later.
Such on-the-spot ticketable offences can see offenders having to pay from CI$250 to CI$1,000, the Premier advised. As a result, the Premier implored people to take heed of the regulations and abide by them.
“We are receiving far too many reports on people operating on the outskirts of what is acceptable,” he warned.
Restaurants, for example, would have to adhere to keeping tables six feet apart and all staff must wear masks.
However not all offences under the Covid regulations would be ticketable.
“We don’t want to make ticketable offences for something as serious as a breach of quarantine,” he advised.
That would still be something for which the offender would be required to attend Court for prosecution.
Premier Panton said government was doing all it could in terms of maximising the numbers of people getting vaccinated, but people had to take personal responsibility and government would consider implementing additional control measures if people did not control their behaviour. Such measures could include ramping up mask wearing requirements, limiting the numbers in gatherings and implementing more social distancing measures. In all cases the Premier said they would do everything they could to avoid heading down the route of another lockdown.
believe, with getting the co-operation from the community, to adhering to current standards, and, if necessary, tightening those standards, I believe we can avoid the worst-case scenarios,” the Premier advised.