Saint Lucia police are to enforce the wearing of masks in public and other COVID-19 regulations, in the aftermath of the Island’s latest case of COVID-19.
Police Commissioner, Severin Moncherry, made the announcement Sunday night on the National Television Network (NTN).
It came amid hopes that there has been no community spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet appeared along with the police commissioner and the Chief Medical Officer on NTN.
The PM said he is convinced that contact with someone who entered this country illegally, was responsible for the latest COVID-19 case here.
“I am certainly convinced that it was contact with someone who came in illegally that has initiated this and if they have affected one person, which is a bus driver, they can easily affect other people,” Chastanet asserted.
He appealed to members of the public to pass information about people who may have entered Saint Lucia illegally to the police, so that individuals who arrive here through the back door can be isolated.
Police Commissioner Moncherry for his part urged citizens to respect the law.
He explained that the police prefer people to comply rather than having to enforce the law.
Moncherry cited section 21.1 of the COVID-19 Prevention & Control Act which mandates the wearing of masks or suitable covering for the nose and mouth when in public.
He indicated that the regulations also mandate that as far as practicable, people should distance themselves from others.
Moncherry observed that the maximum penalty for non-compliance is $1,000 or 6 months in prison, or both.
“I will be speaking with my officers. We will be meeting together Monday, God willing, and there will be full enforcement,” the Police Commissioner told NTN.
Moncherry also made reference to other COVID-19 regulations pertaining to distancing, specifically in regard to business places and offices.
He spoke of limits on the number of persons at social and sporting events.
In addition, he urged bus drivers to ensure that they and their passengers wear masks,.
Moncherry said traffic police officers will be out to ensure compliance.