People hanging out on street corners will be asked to disperse in new COVID enforcement drive

Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodeny

Cabinet Notes: Six officials–including the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Health Inspector, the Commissioner of Police and a Deputy Police Commissioner, the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Health, other officials from the enforcement arm of the Police and the CBH–were invited to Cabinet to address the application of sanctions, as the number of Covid-19 infected persons continue to increase.


At the time of appearance, 27 active cases were being treated for the infectious disease; and, gatherings at bars, on sidewalks and in the vicinity of entertainment centers, at restaurants, funerals and weddings–where fewer people are wearing masks and practicing social distancing as required during this emergency period–is being observed.


It was agreed that all of these establishments will have posted a sign for all patrons to see, indicating the maximum number allowed inside of the establishments; patrons who loiter on the sidewalks outside, drinking and clustering, are to be asked to disperse for fear that the disease will spread among crowds and contact-tracing will then become impossible to pursue.


The increased enforcement was tasked to the CBH and the Royal Police Force, and will be evident over the next three weeks.


The Cabinet agreed that the maximum number allowed in any establishment will vary according to the size and the application of social distancing rules, very much like churches now operate.


The notion that one-size-fits-all has never been and cannot be reasonably applied; carrying capacity is the standard to be applied. Exceptions to this carrying capacity rule apply at the graveside, when burials are taking place; 25 mourners are allowed  in the cemetery.


At wedding receptions, following marriages in church, the Cabinet agreed that only 10 people are allowed at these receptions.


These two social gatherings are responsible for a significant number of infections; therefore, special rules governing their practice are to be followed and enforced.

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  1. Hoping people CAN still sit outside establishments to drink/eat in an orderly & distanced manner.
    Will #10 for wedding celebration translate to maximum.of 10 on any table in a restaurant? Meeting at a friend’s yard or balcony?

  2. I applaud this move, too much gathering at street corners especially down by Public market.. The police need to do regular checks at those small bars in the residential areas

  3. Who is to blame…..The People……….They don’t listen…….They just can’t follow instructions that’s why we having all these cases…..If the country is locked down (time out in the corner) again it’s all your fault because yall won’t obey simple instructions….SMH…

  4. Please take notice of these regulations. It is so important! Currently in the United Kingdom the Covid Disease is out of control, caused because the people didn’t listen and didn’t follow basic rules. Yesterday the country recorded its highest DAILY death toll of 1680 in one day!
    With over 35000 people contracting Covid every day! Simply put if this were to happen on this island it would be devistating to its population in a matter of weeks!

  5. Hope the Police don’t take the word “corner” too literally! The entire Market Street on a weekend night, for example, should be swept clean and sanitized. There are so many similar areas in and around St. John’s and I suspect throughout the length and breadth off Antigua that require immediate attention!!!

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