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Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith.

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has said that the Police Service will be increasing its patrols and operations this weekend, in anticipation of breaches of the COVID-19 Public Health Ordinance Regulations in the coming days.

In a statement yesterday, he said with the official cancellation of Carnival Monday and Tuesday next week, the Police Service has been made aware of plans in place by persons who are still planning Carnival-themed events and activities which if not controlled, can cause the virus to spread.

He said the viewing of virtual Carnival events is still being turned into backyard Carnival fetes with cover charges.

Such actions, he said, would be seen as breaches of the Public Health Regulations, as persons would be turning their private premises into a public place and the police would have no other choice but to act accordingly.

The commissioner is reminding all citizens that effective October 12, 2020, Section 3 (1) states that during the period specified in Regulation 7, a person shall not, without reasonable justification- (a) be found at any public place where the number of persons gathered, at any time, exceeds ten.

He said officers will be out in full force in all nine policing Divisions to ensure that persons do not flout the regulations by congregating in large numbers and ignoring mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines, thereby causing the Covid-19 virus statistics to increase in the coming days.

Griffith also signalled a warning to bars and restaurant owners who are planning Valentine’s Day activities, that these businesses are to be closed at 10 pm and there should be no congregating outside of these establishments.

He has reminded organisers of vigils arising out of the death of Andrea Bharatt that while they are within their rights to show their solidarity, they must first seek the necessary approvals from the police before holding large gatherings and ensure all attendees adhere to the COVID-19 regulations and carry about the vigils in a peaceful manner.

Additionally, all Divisional Traffic and Highway Patrol Units have been instructed to conduct DUI and speed enforcement exercises, as the TTPS aims to prevent any loss of life or injury due to unsafe and irresponsible road usage this weekend into next week.