by Curlan Campbell
- Police to implement education, engagement, and enforcement approach
- Public Health (Covid-19) Regulations 2020 took effect from Thursday, 17 September
- Regulations detail what is required of business owners, taxi and bus operators, and the public
- Under new Caricom protocols passengers arriving at MBIA will not be PCR tested
The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is to implement a 3-tier approach to enforce the Public Health (Covid-19) Regulations 2020 published in the Gazette and which took effect from Thursday, 17 September 2020.
The Public Health (Covid-19) Regulations replaces the Emergency Powers Covid-19 Regulations which was constantly updated. Despite Grenada being declared Covid-19 free, according to Head of the Community Relations Department, Superintendent Vannie Curwen, the RGPF will embark upon this approach to properly engage members of the public in complying with the regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The first approach will be public education and request of compliance; then extensive engagement and encouragement; followed by enforcement and ticketing for failure to adhere to the regulations.
“So we are not going to go out there in a draconian way and enforce as though we are not aware of the conditions and the situation we are currently operating under. While we have a duty to enforce the law we also have a duty and a responsibility to inform and educate the public,” said Curwen.
Apart from restrictions on events or gatherings, the new regulations detail what will be required of business owners, taxi and bus operators and the general public as it relates to physical distancing and sanitisation protocols and most importantly, the wearing of masks in public. This becomes crucial now more than ever as buses and taxi operators have been given the green light to carry their full capacity of passengers. Also enshrined within the regulations are a number of instances where exemptions will be granted. This includes for people who are deemed incapable of wearing a mask due to medical, mental and physical disabilities which inhibits their ability to put on a mask without severe distress. Exemptions for the wearing of masks were also made for children under the age of 5; for children over the age of 5 not wearing a mask, the parent or guardian will bear the responsibility.
Without providing a specific date, the RGPF informed that enforcement of the regulations will take place in the coming days. In the meantime, officers will be tasked to engage the public to ensure that they understand what will be required of them going forward.
“Give us a chance to allow the public to digest this information (regulation). I don’t know how long it will take but we want them to digest this information just as how we understand it, so that they can comply even to the point where we would not need to issue any tickets,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police, Jessmon Prince.
From a border entry standpoint, a new set of Covid-19 protocols were introduced by the Ministry of Health on Monday that will see passengers arriving at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) not undergoing PCR testing for the Covid-19 virus on arrival, but allowed 4 days of quarantine at an approved facility where they will be tested. These new protocols mirror protocols adopted by member states of Caricom.