A police officer and a Central businessman were among 71 people slapped with tickets for failure to wear face masks after a birthday celebration turned sour.

Police said around 11.45 pm on Saturday acting Sergeants Andrews and John along with Corporal Hamilton and officers of the

Central Division Task Force, received information that several people were gathered at a restaurant where the celebrations were taking place, contrary to the Public Health Ordinance Regulations.

The officers then went to the Passage to Asia Restaurant, St Yves Street, Chaguanas, where they observed several patrons including the police officer without face masks and who were participating in the event.

Police said patrons are also expected to be charged by summons for convening over the limit outlined by Section 3(1) of the Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)] Regulations.

The regulations state there must be no gathering of more than ten people.

Police said the owner of the establishment may also face a charge for allowing the event to take place on his premises.

Investigators also said a popular artiste also performed for guests at the birthday party but there was no word from the police if he will face any charges.

The TTPS is also reminding the public to abide by Public Health Regulations to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure

safety.

Meanwhile, Passage to Asia Restaurant said what transpired on Saturday night was in no way affiliated with the restaurant.

In a statement, it added that the Chandelier Hall was leased to the businessman to host a private family gathering.

It said all COVID-19 protocols are observed at the restaurant and that the management of Passage to Asia fully co-operated with the police as officers executed their duties.