Local Government Minister summons entertainment industry players to emergency meeting

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Minister of Local Government and Community Development Hon. Desmond
McKenzie has called an emergency meeting of stakeholders in the entertainment
sector for tomorrow, Wednesday August 5 at the Ministry, to discuss glaring and
sustained breaches of the agreed conditions and protocols governing events and
other gatherings.
“This disregard for the rules is happening at and through numerous events being
held all over the country. Our surveys show that over 700 events have been staged
without any permission being sought. In other instances where approvals for
events were given, the agreed conditions were blatantly breached. The Jamaica
Constabulary Force is being stretched in responding to these breaches, and it is
completely unfair to our policemen and women who are simultaneously dealing with
everything from traffic violations to violent crime.
“I am also very concerned about the continued misuse of our beaches and rivers.
The surveys have revealed that they are being overcrowded, in clear breach of the
social distancing protocols. Little Dunn’s River, Spanish River and Little Ochi are just a
few of the venues at which the overcrowding is occurring. Additionally, parties and
other events are being held at various beaches and rivers, in clear violation of the
stipulations that govern their reopening. Parties and tournaments are banned at
beaches and rivers.
“The Government is very concerned about the public health implications and effects
of the unconscionable behaviour that is being seen island-wide. I wish to make it
clear that this Administration will not allow the gains made in the management of
COVID-19 to be destroyed by people who have absolutely no regard for anyone’s
interest but theirs.
“Accordingly, the Agenda for tomorrow’s meeting will involve a review of this
completely unacceptable situation, and a decision about the way forward. The
Government has been steadily working to restore economic and social life, but not at
any price. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the relaxations granted to this point
will remain. Actions have consequences, and I want to make it clear that we are
determined to use the policy and legal tools available to ensure behaviour change in
this time of public health emergency.”

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