Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says there cannot and will not be any adjustments to the COVID-19 regulations to treat with the enforcement of social gatherings on private properties.
Deyalsingh’s comments came yesterday as the debate on whether the T&T Police Service had the right to go onto private property to deal with persons who were in breach of the regulation, following an incident last week in which the police did not charge anyone at a pool party at Bayside Towers.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has maintained that the police could not act since the regulation does not give them authority to act against persons on their private properties. This prompted calls from some quarters for the law to be amended so this could be done.
Yesterday, however, Deyalsingh said there would be no such action.
“So the Minister of Health will not be signing off on regulations that violate any constitutional right, it simply can’t be done and that is not how a responsible government operates,” Deyalsingh said while speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday.
He said any such action would require the intervention of Parliament.
“To affect 3/5 rights as laid out in the Constitution that cannot be done, as far as I know, via regulations,” Deyalsingh explained.
In fact, Deyalsingh said he has had some discussions with Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi “and that is a very ticklish situation, so I am awaiting his advice on it.”
He said what authorities are trying to do is get people to comply with the spirit of the law and take personal responsibility, whether they are in public or private spaces.