Government lifts ban on amplified music and mass gatherings

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The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), today (Thur. July 9) lifted the ban on amplified music and mass gatherings, effective July 10 2020.

Mr. Colin John, Commissioner of Police, along with other Senior Police Officers made the announcement at a media briefing at the Police Conference Room.

The ban was implemented on March 26, 2020, by the Royal SVG Police Force “as a result of the precautionary measures adopted by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to treat with the spread of Coronavirus and COVID-19.”

All permissions to play amplified music were thereby cancelled until further notice, “by authority vested in the Commissioner of Police under Section 17 of the Noise Act, Chapter 278 of the Revised Edition of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 2009.”

Advisories were also issued by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE), for the practice of social and physical distancing. Mass gatherings and events were discouraged.

The new protocols being enforced as the government moves to lift the ban include:

  1. Only outdoor gatherings with amplified music with a maximum of 300 persons will be allowed.
  2. Only indoor gatherings with amplified music with a maximum of 200 persons will be allowed.
  3. Temperature checks of all patrons must be done. Any patron found to have a temperature greater than 100.1’F MUST be referred immediately to the COVID-19 Hotline (534-4325).
  4. Sufficient sanitizing stations at a ratio of 1:20 persons must be maintained through-out the event.
  5. The outdoor venue must have sufficient space to allow for 3-6 ft physical distancing between patrons/attendees.
  6. Facial coverings by a minimum of 90% of the patrons/attendees is strongly recommended/required.
  7. To facilitate contact tracing (when practical):
    • All patrons must be encouraged to download the MOHWE Patient Reporting APP to facilitate the early identification of new suspected COVID-19 cases. (Ready by mid-July) or
    • The event organizer should record the name (ID verified) and contact number of each person entering the event and store this information securely for twenty-eight (28) days. The MOHWE will only access this information in the event that contact tracing involving the persons who attende3d the event is required.
  8. Adequate toilet facilitates with hygiene practices sufficiently maintained must be available at all events.
  9. All food safety protocols must be strictly adhered to.
  10. Approval by the Health Services Subcommittee for the conduct of the event may require actual physical inspection by the Environmental Health Team.

The ban is being lifted in phases. These protocols form part of the first phase, which will be made effective from Friday July 10 until Friday July 31, 2020, after which, revision will be made.

According to a release from the NEMO Health Services Subcommittee, the number of attendees allowed at outdoor events will be upped to 500 during the second phase, which will run from August 1 to August 31, 2020.

“We are hoping that persons would adhere to the protocols,” Commissioner John.

The application process for permission to host events remains the same. Persons are to apply to the Police Headquarters.

SVG recorded its first case of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020. To date, there are no active cases of the virus in the country as all 29 confirmed cases have made recoveries.