CoP warns: Virtual fetes no excuse for mass gatherings

Patrons at Army Fete, Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain. File photo.
Patrons at Army Fete, Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain. File photo.

COMMISSIONER of Police Gary Griffith says some organisers of virtual fetes for the Carnival 2021 season are using this as a gateway to have mass gatherings.

He urged them not to breach the public health regulations as the police do not want to be the “grim reaper of Carnival.”

With the cancellation of Carnival 2021 owing to the covid19 pandemic, event organisers and artistes have been hosting virtual concerts and hope to host virtual fetes.

Griffith, in a release, said he has noted the upsurge in such events, which he understands are “primarily an avenue to provide funds for certain institutions to offset annual expenses, inclusive of schools.”

But he added, “Unfortunately, these events via a virtual fete can and would be abused by some, with the regulations being breached.

“These virtual Carnival events, if not controlled, would yet again be a cause for the virus to spread, as some who are either irresponsible, or see an opportunity to make a profit, are planning to get unto the site of these virtual events and set up large screens with powerful sound systems, even in their own backyards, then to have cover charges, or bring a bottle etc, and to have others view the event, and be entertained at such venues, hence turning it into a Carnival fete.”

He said anyone who invites others to their private properties to view these virtual events together will be breaching the Public Health Ordinance Regulations, “as you would be turning your private premises into a public place and the police would act accordingly.”

He reminded the public that groups of only up to ten people are currently allowed.

The release also said, “Commissioner Griffith reminds that these laws have been drafted and are being enforced, not to frustrate anyone, but to save lives, hence, whilst he and the members of the TTPS appreciate the growing frustrations, they underscore the importance of all parties working together towards one objective, which is to maintain the nation’s safety.”

He said the police’s “simple” role is to enforce the law.


"CoP warns: Virtual fetes no excuse for mass gatherings"

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