New COVID-19 protocols for entertainment sector to stem breaches
The Government has introduced new protocols for the entertainment sector amid breaches of the COVID-19 guidelines.
In making the announcement in Parliament this afternoon, Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie said the move is aimed at bringing order to the sector and ramping up enforcement.
He stressed that the breaches have become the norm since the relaxations took effect on July 21.
Here are the revised protocols:
* Small outdoor events such as concerts, parties, tailgate parties, round robins, launches, and festivals with the necessary permits will be allowed every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between 6: 00 am and 10: 00 pm.
* Applications for permits must be made to the municipal corporations at least 15 days before the date of the event.
* A committee will be established at each municipal corporation to receive and review all applications. This committee will consist of officials from the corporations, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Fire Brigade, and the Ministry of Health.
* A copy of any permit that is granted must be prominently displayed at the entrance of the venue, at least eight hours before the event is scheduled to begin. This is where members of the public can protect themselves by looking out for the permit.
* All promotions for events must include COVID-19 protocols referring specifically to wearing of masks, sanitisation, and physical distancing. The promoters and patrons must observe government orders regarding closure before curfew times, sanitisation protocols, physical distancing of at least six feet between individuals, the mandatory wearing of masks, and temperature checks, especially on entry.
* The number of persons at the event at any time shall not exceed whichever is lower of:
> 230 persons, with 200 being patrons and 30 being performers or event staff or
> Such number as would, based on the square footage of the venue, ensure compliance with the physical distancing requirement.
* There shall be audible public announcements every 15 minutes during the event, reminding patrons to wear masks when not drinking or eating and to observe physical distancing protocols.
* Promoters or hosts of all events are required to give full access to designated officials from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Ministry of Health and Wellness, municipal corporations, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force. These officials will display proper identification.
* Any person, venue and/or sound system found to be in breach of the permit granted will be barred for six months from obtaining a permit for entertainment events.
* Any promoter, venue, sound system owner or operator who fails to comply with these protocols is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $1 million and/or 12 months’ imprisonment under the Disaster Risk Management Act.
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