Jamaica’s entertainment industry stakeholders may have just received another setback after a popular venue seemingly staged a night-time event without permission amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Social media users are today, July 4, questioning the staging of the popular after-work ‘Happy Hour’ held at the Reggae Mill Bar on the historic Devon House in Kingston yesterday.
As the gathering’s organiser has come under fire, Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams has weighed on what seems to have been a full-fledged party, despite COVID-19 restrictions still being in place.
Williams, in a series of tweets, said “Very disappointing at the information being presented and I wish to make it clear that the measures outlined by the Council regarding the hosting of events contrary to the DRMA Orders and without permits from the @ksamcorp (Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation) and @themohwgovjm (Ministry of Health and Wellness) will be enforced.
Although curfew hours were extended to 11:00 p.m., the staging of parties and other similar events is still prohibited under the Disaster Risk Management Act.
In a video being shared on social media, dozens of patrons can be seen, most without face masks and no evident physical distancing measures, at the Reggae Mill Bar.
Williams continued, “Let me be unmistakably clear; the power to grant places of amusement licenses rests with the Local Authority. Similarly; the power to strip you of that license also rests with the Council.
“Allow me to use this to appeal to ALL promoters; We are working to have incremental restoration. We have seen some advances this week. Let’s not set ourselves back. Abeg!”
In response to a tweet from a user who said they did not know the mayor had re-opened the party scene, Williams replied, “I Never know either. We are investigating the reports and will hold those in breach responsible.”
In another tweet, Williams sought to correct a user who said the establishment did not require a Place of Amusement permit to hold the event, saying the statement was “Absolutely Incorrect!”
He said the Council will work with the police to address the incident as “what goes for one, goes for all.”