By Sue-Ann Wayow
THE Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) will be investigating an event at Queen’s Hall on Sunday which Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith described as having all the features of a Carnival band launch.
In a press release on Tuesday, the TTPS stated, “The CoP says as far as the TTPS is concerned, that event was a public party,” and reminded the public that it was an offence to hold public parties or public fetes.
The two-and-a-half hour event featuring several soca artistes was carried on television and on social, media platforms showing patrons inside Queen’s Hall dancing to music.
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, indicated last year that four of their premises were open for business – Queen’s Hall, Naparima Bowl, the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), and the Southern Assembly for the Performing Arts (SAPA).
Griffith said the TTPS intended to meet with the managers of those premises to explain to them that in the case of Queen’s Hall, there was certainly a breach of the Public Health Ordinance Regulations.
He said the law was quite clear and there must be a level playing field for all.
Griffith said he has been informed that similar events like the one which took place at Queen’s Hall on Sunday, were being planned and being advertised on social media and reminded promoters and the public what has happened in other countries where such events took place and their health facilities became so overburdened that space in hospitals ran out.
In a press release on Tuesday, Toursim Minister Randall Mitchell assured the public of the Ministry’s commitment to Public Health Guidelines and Protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The ministry stated, “Minister Mitchell was advised that the event, Sekon Sunday was recorded to be broadcast. Invitations were issued to approximately 200 persons which is 30%, or well under the 50% capacity allowed by Queen’s Hall COVID-19 guidelines for the hosting of events at its venue. All invitees were subjected to the protocols outlined below, among others, which are in place at Queen’s Hall.”
“However, the Minister is concerned over what he saw in the videos and has requested an immediate meeting with the Board and Management of all national performance spaces under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts to urgently revise the operations of these performance spaces in line with the letter, spirit and intent of the Covid-19 Regulations and Protocols.”