Hundreds of Jamaicans have disregarded social distancing protocols stipulated by the government as seen with weekly parties held at Spanish Bridge in St. Mary.
Almost daily, social media users upload pictures and videos of large gatherings at the location. There is no charge to access the river but many hustlers charge persons for parking spots and to “watch their vehicles”. The hustlers also offer water shoes for rent while some sell food and liquor. Recently, a flyer has been making rounds on Instagram advertising another party to be held at the location next week.
Chairman of the St Mary Municipal Council Richard Creary yesterday confirmed that reports of the free-for-all parties have reached his desk.
“We are well aware of the problems and we have had several meetings with the various agencies in trying to come up with a strategy to deal with it,” said Creary, the Mayor of Port Maria.
According to him, the St Mary Municipal Council is treating the matter very seriously and will be doing all that it can to get the situation under control.
In the meantime, Member of Parliament for St Mary Western, Robert Montague also appeared to have received reports of the parties.
“It is now a police matter…and they need to act,” declared Montague.
Jamaica has seen a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent days with 44 news cases recorded across the island in the past 72 hours.
Up to yesterday, the island had recorded 1,031 COVID-19 cases with 14 people who tested positive for the virus dying, and 745 recovering.
At a media briefing last week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that some Jamaicans [weak fences] were ignoring the appeals to observe the COVID-19 protocols and declared that the Government would move to tougher measures, including prosecution for the breaches.