No matter how groovy the music is, stay in your seat!
This is one of the rules coming out of a meeting yesterday between Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Randall Mitchell, and national performance space managers.
The meeting was called to address concerns about the recent Sekon Sunday virtual show at Queen’s Hall.
Going forward patrons will not be allowed to “unnecessarily move around” during performances and that includes congregating at the front of the stage or in the aisles.
Some spaces will now revise their seating arrangements to ensure appropriate physical distancing.
The changes reflect what many believe were absent from Sekon Sunday. Social Media videos of the event, which was hosted at Queen’s Hall on Sunday, raised questions about the adherence to the Public Health Regulations.
The show became subjected to a police probe with Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith saying as far as he is concerned the event was a public party.
The investigation has now been closed, according to Griffith.
He told Guardian Media following his meeting yesterday with Mitchell and other officials to enquire into the Sekon Sunday show, he is satisfied with the protocols in place at Queen’s Hall.
There has also been an undertaking by the management to ramp up safety measures.
“Such events would have the tendency to cause patrons to converge, stand in aisles or even be lured to the stage area. After speaking to Minister Mitchell along with other officials, protocols would take place to ensure that such actions would not take place. Ushers along with Police presence would assist in ensuring this,” Griffith stated.
Meanwhile, chief executive officer of the National Carnival Commission Colin Lucas said while he did not want to comment on that particular show, he is encouraging all carnival stakeholders to do the right thing.
A similar call was made by epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds when asked about the handling of virtual fetes at yesterday’s Ministry of Health news briefing.
“While we do not want to prevent people from being able to participate in their various activities, once there is a breach of all, not just one or two, precautions then there is going to be a risk of increased spread,” according to Hinds.
“So, we are getting people getting up and moving around and not maintaining their seating and physical distancing, removal of masks, exceeding the capacity in a given building or setting, any of those are going to increase risk. I can’t say whether any of those things applied to this setting. We do want to encourage across the board that we don’t breach those regulations which are in place for the protection of the public”, he added.