Police warn against mass gatherings over the long holiday weekend

Thursday, September 9th, 2021

As Belizeans home and abroad get ready to observe the 223rd anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye, everyone is reminded to be cautious as the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. The anticipated holiday will be observed tomorrow, Friday, September 10th, and considering it is the beginning of a long weekend; the Belize Police Department issued a release warning the public of the risks associated with mass gatherings and social events. The Department reminds every one of the COVID-19 regulations laid down in Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 74 of 2021, which prohibits social gatherings and similar events.

The police outlined the section of the SI barring social events. Regulation 7(1) of the SI provides for restrictions against any social event, in numbers of more than ten persons at a time, who are not of the same household. Regulation 9(1) (a) provides for restrictions against any private gathering, which includes any person from outside the immediate household. In addition, Regulation 9(1) (b) also provides for restrictions against any recreational event.

With COVID-19 on the rise, there is a concern as recreational events are allegedly being promoted on social media, potentially drawing a large number of people. Coastal communities are one area of concern where several events have been promoted. These places are reminded that such events are prohibited under SI No. 74.

As a result of the third pandemic wave in Belize, police ask the general public not to host or attend any events. “In recent weeks, we see an increase in the number of daily infections; as such, the threat of COVID-19 is still real. Therefore, we call on all to work with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Belize Police Department to act responsibly by adhering to the protocols in place to safeguard us from the deadly virus,” part of the police release read. Anyone found in violation of these regulations will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.

The latest daily COVID-19 report states that infections are rising, and currently, there are 1,359 active cases countrywide. The number of COVID-19 related deaths has also increased; with an additional four deaths reported on Thursday, September 9th, the death toll now stands at 373. People are asked to take this disease seriously and help mitigate the pandemic in the country by getting vaccinated, proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and proper mask-wearing.


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