Increased outdoor crowds for the Republic Day holiday on Friday had to be curbed by the police and public spaces closed.
A statement from the Ministry of Planning and Development on Saturday said the entrance to Tucker Valley Road in Chaguaramas has been blocked and the police were restricting the number of people allowed to enter.
It said, “The north-west peninsula witnessed a surge of people on the Republic Day holiday. They flocked in large numbers to the Tracking Station, the Bamboo Cathedral and to the Covigne River trail.
“The Chaguaramas Development Corporation (CDA) police became concerned with the growing numbers and with the help of the TTPS people were asked to leave the respective areas. The golf course remained open.”
The ministry said the restrictions would continue throughout the weekend after which the CDA will decide a way forward.
“The CDA will determine a way forward and inform the public next week of the measures to be implemented to allow for the use of the facilities during this period.”
It added that the decision to close certain areas was in keeping with the covid19 regulations for the safety of the public.
Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell said the beaches under the purview of his ministry — Maracas, Vessigny, Manzanilla and Las Cuevas — remained closed and were being manned by security.
“There were no reports of security breaches at any one of those facilities and we continue as is. There is no plan to put any additional security.”
Police also charged 17 people in the eastern division for breach of the covid19 protocols for the holiday.
Five people — three males and two females – were charged for bathing in the Matura River along Mile Marker 10-1/2 on Toco Main Road. They are expected to appear virtually at the Sangre Grande Magistrates’ Court on October 22.
Another five people were arrested for a similar breach after they were found swimming in the Matura River. The exercise was carried out between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm.
During another exercise in Sangre Grande between 11 pm and 2 am, 12 people were arrested for breaching the curfew.
Police said nine people were arrested around 11.05 pm at Robinson Lane, Damarie Hill and three people were arrested around 11.45 pm along Seeree Trace, Foster Road in Sangre Grande.
All 12 were charged by PC Boodram.
The exercises were co-ordinated by acting Snr Supt Khan.