Amendments to the Public Health (Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Regulations, and new regulations to ensure compliance with the Shelter in Place requirements were approved by Cabinet today, 3 April 2020.
Turning firstly, to the amendments to the Public Health (Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Regulations, the key changes are as follows:
Visits to residential home care facilities
No person shall, except with the written permission of the Medical Officer of Health visit or be permitted to visit, a residential home care facility.
Fulfilling legal obligations
We have added a new category of essential travel. This relates to persons undertaking travel required:
• by a custody agreement by consent or custody order of the Court
(This would therefore allow for parents in relation to children who do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents, to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between parents and children);
• any other court order, or
• by law enforcement.
Further restriction on certain essential travel
As the public is aware, arrangements had been put in place for supermarkets whereby only certain persons are allowed to visit them on certain days of the week.
Government has sought to formalize this arrangement by including it in the Regulations, and also extending it to the following public places:
• convenience stores and mini-marts;
• retail banks, building societies and credit unions; and
• gas or refilling stations.
I would remind the public that the arrangements are as follows:
• persons whose last names begin with the letters A-K shall only undertake essential travel to the aforementioned places on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and
• persons whose last names begin with the letters L-Z shall only undertake essential travel to the aforementioned places on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
This, of course, does not apply to essential workers of these businesses. It only applies to customers or patrons.
For clarity, this arrangement also does NOT apply to:
• health-care facilities; and
• persons who undertake travel to restaurants which provide drive-thru or curbside collection of food or provide for the take-out of food.
I turn now to the:
PUBLIC HEALTH (PREVENTION, CONTROL AND SUPPRESSION OF COVID-19) (TICKET) REGULATIONS, 2020
Where an offence appears to have been committed contrary to the Public Health (Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Regulations, a police officer may serve on the alleged offender a ticket specifying the offence and amount payable in relation thereto.
The fines range from $250 - $750.
I will give an overview of the offences and the fines attached thereto:
1. Not restricting the number of customers in a place of business so that each customer complies with social distancing requirements - $250
2. Not maintaining a distance of at least six feet or two meters from another person - $250
3. Holding a public meeting, procession or festive ceremony - $750
4. Opening an establishment, institution, business, organisation or office which is not exempt - $750
5. Being a convenience store or mini-mart which has more than 6 customers at any one time - $750
7. Carrying out any activity or operation set out in regulation 6(1) of the Regulations (such as hosting a private party, visiting or permitting entry to a private strata pool or gym, or performing works of construction) - $500
8. Permitting the visit of, or visiting, the following places i.e.- (a) a place or facility of quarantine or isolation; (b) a detainee in a prison or place of detention; or (c) a patient in a health care facility - $500
9. Permitting a visit to, or visiting a residential home-care facility without the written permission of the Medical Officer of Health - $500
10. Without lawful authority, remaining in a place other than the confines of the person’s place of residence, inclusive of the person’s yard space - $500
11. Undertaking essential travel to any of the public places such as supermarkets, convenience stores, mini-marts, retail banks, building societies, credit unions or gas stations on days other than those permitted according to persons’ last names - $500
Upon being served a ticket, a person may:
• pay the total amount set out in the ticket; or
• enter into a ‘not guilty’ plea; or
• attend the Summary Court on the date set out in the ticket and enter a plea.
A person served with a ticket who wishes to enter a ‘not guilty’ plea, may request a trial within 28 days of being served with a ticket.
A person served with a ticket who has NOT:
• paid the total amount set out in the ticket within 28 days from being served with the ticket; or
• entered a ‘not guilty’ plea, will have to attend the Court on the day specified in the ticket.
Persons are not obligated to pay these fines – instead, you can opt to go to Court. It is your right to do so.
The public is reminded that if convicted by a court, a person may face the maximum fine of KY$1,000 and a term of imprisonment of 6 months.