Health Minister Carvin Malone said members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) along with Environmental Health Officers are now better armed to enforce public health measures that help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Minister Malone explained that Public Health (Covid-19 Control and Suppression Measures) Order (No. 4), 2020 introduces a range of penalties and enforcement provisions that supplement existing provisions under the Public Health Act.
This Order gives these two groups the power to enforce the law whenever it is reasonably believed that someone or an establishment is in contravention of the Order.
More about the Order
In the case of an individual who breaches any of the BVI’s COVID-19 protocols for a first time, a verbal warning will be issued.
For a second breach, they will be issue a fixed penalty notice requiring the person to pay a fine of $100 and to attend mandatory training.
However, for each subsequent breach, the offender will be slapped with a fixed penalty notice requiring them to pay a fine of $200.
In the case of an establishment, like the individual, the first breach will be a verbal warning. A second breach would incur a $1,000 for the owner as well as a notice for temporary closure. The reopening will be subject to mandatory training and the establishment’s implementation of corrective measures.
For the third breach, authorties will issue a fixed penalty notice requiring the owner or operators to pay a fine of $2,000, an order of immediate closure of the establishment, and the revocation of the Environmental Health Certificate.
“Serious times call for serious measures,” Malone said while delivering a statement on Saturday, August 1.
“It is my hope that not one citation will need to be issued, not one fine levied, and not one business to be forced to close. This can only be the case if we hold each other accountable to do the right thing for each other’s protection. However, the Environmental Health Officers and Police Officers are now better equipped to enforce these sensible Public Health measures wherever and whenever required, without fear or favour,” he added.
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