Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is urging persons visiting beaches and rivers over this weekend to follow all the health protocols established to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Minister is also reminding the operators of these venues that they are obligated to enforce the protocols without exception.
“I spoke in Parliament earlier this week about the behaviour that we are seeing. The entire Government is very concerned that there is widespread disregard for the health protocols, especially social distancing, wearing of masks, no sports and no beach or river parties. It is also very clear that many operators of the establishments are simply not enforcing the protocols. Things cannot continue like this. A Protocols Compliance Assessment of how operators and patrons have used the beaches and rivers is now being done. This Assessment will determine whether the conditional opening of these spaces will be extended. The ability of our people to continue going to the rivers and rivers is in their hands.
“This weekend, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and other agencies will be monitoring activities, to encourage and to enforce compliance. At this time when we are making steady progress in fighting the spread of COVID-19, we cannot allow irresponsible behaviour to cause a huge spike in infections, and undue pressure on our health care system. The reckless behaviour at the beaches and rivers is dangerous, and unfair to everyone who looks out for himself as well as his neighbour.
“The requirements are not hard. Wear a mask. Stay six feet apart. No more than 10 people at any part of the river or beach. Sanitize. I am asking for a dramatic improvement in conduct by our beach and river-goers this weekend.”