Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie yesterday announced the resumption of ‘small outdoor events’ within strict guidelines, including a requirement for venues to have no more than 280 people at any given time.
He said events held at established approved venues will be allowed between July 21 and July 31. During that period, the effectiveness of the measures will be assessed.
“The events to which I refer include small outdoor concerts, parties, round-robins, launches, religious celebrations and festivals,” McKenzie told the House of Representatives, adding that night clubs are to remain closed.
He stated that, in addition to social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitizing rules, the events will be subject to other strict protocols, INCLUDING:
- No event can be held without a permit. Applications to the Municipal Corporations for permits must have the correct address, approximate size, a recent dated picture of the proposed venue, and proposed layout of the event.
- All approved events must end one hour before the start of the nightly curfew.
- No more than 280 people can gather for an event. This means a maximum 250 patrons, and no more than 30 additional production personnel, including performers and staff.
- There must be visible signs, such as tape on floors or other markings to ensure that patrons observe all protocols.
- The bar area is only to be used for purchasing drinks. No gathering is allowed.
- No obstruction of public thoroughfares, of vehicular traffic, or of access to private premises is allowed.
- The provisions of the Noise Abatement Act also apply to these events, and will be enforced.
- All facilities and events are subject to inspection by officials from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Ministry of Entertainment, the Municipal Corporations, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
McKenzie also noted that the provisional measures were developed ‘after extensive consultations’ with many individuals and groups in the entertainment industry.
He added: “I want to make it very clear however that, if these relaxations are to be extended beyond the initial periods, full compliance with all protocols by operators and patrons is required. Public health is the foremost concern, and the Government will not tolerate any abuse of the rules.”
Entertainment events have been banned since March as part of Government’s effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
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