The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is reminding all Tobagonians that anyone under Quarantine Orders for COVID-19 infection should not go out to vote in today’s Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election.

An official statement from the Police Service states that such action would be a breach of the Public Health Regulations, and anyone found to be in breach would be prosecuted.

The Police Service also noted what it says is erroneous information circulating which states that “persons who are subject to these directives can disregard them by visiting the various Polling Stations to cast their votes and will be facilitated by the Police Officers on duty at those Polling Stations.”

According to the TTPS, this is incorrect.

“Police Officers are not authorized to facilitate any breaches of the Public Health Regulations, and anyone found breaching the said regulations will be prosecuted,” the release said.

The TTPS also stated: “…we are strongly advising persons who are subject to Quarantine Orders by officials of the Ministry of Health to self-quarantine, to refrain from visiting any Polling Station to cast their vote.”

The TTPS release also reminds the general public to continue observing the 3Ws—wear your mask, wash your hands, watch your distance—when out and about.

The following is the full statement issued by the Police Service on the matter…

Fellow citizens, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Elections will be held Monday 6th December 2021. Voters will cast their ballots between the hours of 6.00 am and 6.00 pm throughout the sister-island of Tobago. This election, similar to the recent General and THA Elections, is being held against the background of the existing covid-19 pandemic with surging numbers of new infections and deaths due to the virus on a daily basis. It is also being held under existing Public Health Regulations based on the Covid-19 pandemic.

As is customary, members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) will play an active role in preserving law and order at the various Polling Stations throughout Tobago by enforcing the laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago especially the existing Public Health Regulations regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

Against that background, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is urging citizens who will be casting their vote in tomorrow’s elections to act responsibly and practice the three Ws (Wear your mask, Wash your hands and Watch your distance) in particular, social distancing in the lines leading to, and within, the various Polling Stations.

We are aware that many persons have been issued with Quarantine Orders by officials of the Ministry of Health to self-quarantine (See THE PUBLIC HEALTH [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)] (No.15) Regulations 2020) during the elections and may wish to disregard these directives and visit Polling Stations in order to cast their votes.

We are also aware that the public is being advised that persons who are subject to these directives can disregard them by visiting the various Polling Stations to cast their votes and will be facilitated by the Police Officers on duty at those Polling Stations.

In this regard, we are strongly advising persons who are subject to Quarantine Orders by officials of the Ministry of Health to self-quarantine, to refrain from visiting any Polling Station to cast their vote.

We are also informing members of the public that Police Officers are not authorized to facilitate any breaches of the Public Health Regulations, and anyone found breaching the said regulations will be prosecuted.

We are also strongly advising persons who are encouraging members of the public who are subject to Quarantine orders to self-quarantine, to disregard those orders, to desist from doing so and anyone caught advising, assisting, counselling or procuring persons to disregard orders to self-quarantine, will be prosecuted for such conduct.

We remind the public that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is here to ensure that voters exercise their franchise in a safe and secure environment while adhering to the provisions of the Representation of the Peoples Act chapter 2:01and the Public Health Regulations 2020.