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Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says that no permits have been approved for the staging of entertainment events.

“The Municipal Corporations and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) cut off accepting and considering applications from the 9th of this month,” he indicated.

“So, there is no approval for any event of any nature, whether big or small, and the announcement that was made earlier by the Prime Minister would indicate that with immediate effect, the municipal corporations would not consider any applications of any sort,” he added.

Minister McKenzie was responding to a question during a digital press conference hosted by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Monday (August 9), to announce new measures to contain the current spike in cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

During the press conference, the Prime Minister said that no permits will be granted for entertainment events during the three-week period from August 11 to August 31. These include small or large events such as concerts, parties, tailgate parties and round robins.

Meanwhile, Minister McKenzie said that information collated by the Social Development Commission (SDC) and ODPEM indicates that there was a 59.3 per cent compliance rate with the COVID-19 protocol at recent major events.

“The team went out and visited certain events across the country including the Dream Weekend (in Negril) …Based on the level of compliance that was observed at major events across the country over the last couple of days, the average rate of compliance is 59.3, which is considered average/fair. There were areas where there was not any compliance at all (with regard to) mask wearing and persons congregating,” he noted.

The Minister said that the findings will be used to “ensure that we tighten the system if and when the measures are lifted”.

“I want to give the country the assurance that these events were not allowed to take place without monitoring from the police, ODPEM, the SDC right across the country,” he said.

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