In light of the recent COVID-19 scare on Jost Van Dyke and the failure of some residents to adhere to the precautionary guidelines, Health Minister Carvin Malone said government is advancing plans to penalise persons and business owners for non-compliance.
He said legislation about coronavirus-related penalties will be heading to the House of Assembly soon.
Malone made the remarks during a live public broadcasting session on Tuesday.
He said: “I’m not sure if we have a choice in terms of the particular laws being put in place. What we are saying is, if you are unable to maintain the six feet distance, and even if you are indoors, they are asking you to wear your masks. I am certain it is not too much to ask.”
He continued: “It will be brought to the House of Assembly shortly. The Attorney General chambers have been given the drafting measures that would form a part of this. It would be brought to Cabinet, it would be looked at [and] amended where necessary. It will be brought to the House of Assembly and debated. But, at the end of the day, it is not what is expected, as Premier would always say, it is what is inspected. It is for our own good. And at the end of the day, we have to do whatever is required.”
Earlier this month, Premier Andrew Fahie said Cabinet had decided to introduce a range of penalties for individuals and businesses who fail to comply. For individuals and businesses who commit an offence for the first time, they will be given a warning.
For individuals who commit a second offence, they will be fined and educated. Any subsequent offence will automatically result in a fine and failure to pay the fine would incur a ‘further penalty’, the Premier said at the time.
As for businesses, second-time offenders will be fined, given notice of closure, and be subjected to re-inspection as well as becoming educated on the importance of complying with the government-imposed measures.
Third-time offending businesses will be made to close their establishments, have their Environmental Health Certificate revoked, and a further penalty would apply.
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