NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – Premier Hon. Mark Brantley is admonishing Nevisians to adhere to the daily curfew and other COVID-19 restrictions currently in place or face the penalties of law enforcement.
The Premier praised the police for their diligence in enforcing the restrictions and penalizing those found to be in breach.
“The police I believe have been doing a very commendable job. I want to say it because they have my fullest support on this. The police are now starting to arrest and lock up people who they find in breach. So where people feel that they could have their party and the police find you, the police are taking you in to the police station and you spend a little time there.
“I don’t want people out there to think that this [Nevis Island] Administration is making any joke with this. Curfew starts at 6 p.m. After 6 p.m. you should not be out unless you have an emergency or you have an exemption or you are an essential worker. Stay at home. There’s no need for you to be out,” he said at his monthly press conference on June 29, 2021.
Mr. Brantley stressed that the curfew, no mass gatherings and other restrictions are intended to restrict the movement of people in an attempt to prevent transmission of the virus. He warned that persons who flout the rules and regulations run the risk of being arrested.
“So the police are doing their best; they have been issuing tickets and they have been taking in people, letting them spend a little time to cool off in the cell there…People have to take this thing seriously.”
Superintendent James Sutton, Divisional Commander for District C, Nevis, informed that since the COVID restrictions were implemented in June, more than 100 tickets have been issued for various breaches.
He told the Department of Information that the majority of tickets have been for illegal social gatherings. He explained that persons have been hosting “get togethers,” usually at their homes, and this is in violation of the Emergency Powers Regulations. He noted that in these instances all persons present would be ticketed.
Superintendent Sutton explained the parameters of mass gathering as it relates to the COVID regulations.
“With regard to mass gathering, the definition we are working on are persons who come into contact with persons outside of their residence. So if you have a home with two persons and another person comes there from a different home, that is classified as mass gathering. So many of the incidents with regard to mass gatherings are persons who are having parties and things of that nature which are not authorized under this present [Statutory Rules and Orders] SR&O. We’ve had a few of those instances, especially on the weekends” he said.
Some individuals, he said, have also been ticketed for breaching the regulations with respect to mandatory mask wearing in public spaces.
Superintendent James did however, commend the people of Nevis for being largely compliant as it relates to the daily curfew.
“With regard to the curfew, we are doing a number of vehicle stop and searches along with our patrols so we can ensure that the persons who are out during the course of the curfew have the appropriate authority, that is, permission to be out, apart from essential workers.
“One of the things I have realized is that persons are adhering to the curfew regulation. If they are not required to be on the road, they would not be on the road.”
He encouraged citizens and residents on Nevis to do their part in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the existing Emergency Powers Regulations.