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By Carlena Knight

Members of the public who fail to wear masks as well as those found participating in illegal social gatherings, will be ticketed by the police.

Police commissioner Atlee Rodney confirmed this latest policy during Friday morning’s Police Press Briefing.

“Going forward, ticket books can be issued now and tickets can be issued to members of the public who continue to defy the regulations. We are in a position now to ticket persons in public for failing to wear a mask and also persons who engage in unofficial or illegal social gatherings. Both tickets carry a fine of $500 which is payable at the Magistrate’s Court, not to the police,” Commissioner Rodney said.

On March 27, the government declared a state of emergency which allowed it to establish a curfew and other laws to mitigate against a rapid spread of the coronavirus.

An amendment was made to the Official Gazette on August 27, 2020, Rodney shared, and the ticketing policy will assist the police in ensuring that the public abides by the laws of the land to ensure there isn’t a spread of the Covid-19 virus.

As what obtains with regular traffic tickets, individuals will be given 10 days to pay the fine.

Yesterday, Commissioner Rodney said since the mandatory curfew and other laws came into effect in March, 291 persons have been arrested for failing to comply with the restrictions in Antigua, while 24 persons were arrested for the same offences in Barbuda.

However, Rodney continues to encourage the public to abide by the laws of the land, specifically the health protocols.

The current state of emergency will expire on October 29 unless extended further, and the latest dashboard figures put the total number of Covid-19 infections since the country recorded its first case on March 13, at 106. Of this number, 94 persons have recovered, three died, and there are currently nine active cases.

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