JAMAICA | Rick's Cafe apologises for COVID-19 breach, One Law says Holness....

Ricks Cafe, file photo

KINGSTON, MAY 29,2021 -  Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is ensuring that it is not complicit in any breach of the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) adding that the law will be applied equally to everyone.

He was speaking in relation to the breach of the COVID-19 regulations by the Operators of Rick’s Cafe in Negril, which had scores of patrons in attendance at a party at Rick's Café as part of a week long entertainment event dubbed Mocha Fest.

Speaking to the issue, Prime Minister Holness said, “There is a particular situation that has come on our radar this morning. One that I have to pay careful attention to, because it throws up something with which we are always contending; the unequalness of the society - the haves and the have nots.”

Holness Noted that the Government has a duty to ensure that the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) is not just observed in words, but followed by all, and as such, he supports a full investigation into the matter.

“I have asked for a report; my own investigations will be conducted and I expect the  various arms of the State that have a duty to ensure the equal application of the law, to move quickly in that direction to ensure that the full application of the law will be guaranteed.” Holness said.

It's understood that since the start of the week more than 800 tourists, mainly from the US, have converged on Negril for parties being held as part of the event which was widely promoted as a get-away event in Jamaica.

Rick's Cafe PartyRick's Cafe PartyIn a statement Friday, the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) said the operators of Rick's Café will be required to undergo a recertification exercise to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols before it can be allowed to accept patrons again. 

In the meantime, the management of  Rick's Café said it deeply regretted  the breach of COVID-19 protocols at the party it hosted, and  apologised for allowing it to happen.

The operators of Rick's Café said the party became more crowded than expected.

The operators said they will be redoubling compliance training to ensure this does not recur.

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