Antigua News Room- Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney says residents found not wearing mandatory face masks and engaged in unlawful social gatherings will be issued $500 tickets on the spot.
He made the disclosure at a police news conference this morning to update the nation on crime and COVID-19 enforcement measures.
Rodney says the ticketing system was made possible through an amendment of the Public Order Infections Disease Act on August 27.
According to Rodney, ticket books will be issued to police officers and the fine is payable through the Magistrates Court and not to police officers.
“And what the policy makers (have) done is to assist us in some way is by introducing a new piece of regulation under the Public Health Act – Dangerous Infectious Diseases. There is an amendment now which gives the authority to issue tickets for two of the main offences and that is failing to wear a face mask in public and also social gatherings.
“Going forward with the regulation, ticket books can be issued to members of the public who continue to defy the regulations.
According to that amendment, the Official Gazette number 61, dated 27 August, this year, we are in a position now to issue tickets. Both tickets carry an immediate fine of $500 which is payable at the Magistrates court not to the police officers.”
Meantime, the top cop says 291 residents have been arrested for COVID-19 breaches 52 females and 239 males. Out of that number, there have been 169 convictions with 30 being female and 139 males. On Barbuda there have been 24 males arrested and from that 19 convictions.
“But outside of that we had regular patrols where we had to enlighten the public, encourage the public, and on several occasions had to warn the public to adhere to those regulations.
“Going forward and even as we can see on a global stage, we have to continue to be committed to those protocols, we have to continue to the guidelines that have been established,” Rodney told the news conference.