West Side drivers arrested for not wearing masks

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Police in ‘D’ Division (West Demerara/East Bank Essequibo) Saturday morning arrested a number of minibus and taxi drivers for breaching the emergency COVID-19 measures which require them to use a mask when working.

The News Room confirmed that several drivers were arrested at Parika, East Bank Essequibo early Saturday and taken to the Parika Police Station where ranks placed them in front of their minibus and taxi and took their photos.

After more than an hour in Police custody, the drivers were let off with a warning.

The Ministry of Health has a gazetted order which states that “Any person who provides transport within Guyana whether by land, water or air shall not carry in that transport more than half the number of passengers which the motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft is licensed to carry and the operators and passengers of any motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft shall have personal protective equipment.”

Persons who breach the requirements of this order will be charged under section 152 of the Public Health Ordinance and is liable on summary conviction to the penalty provided under that section.

The News Room has been unable to clarify what the penalties are for breaching the order and when contacted Divisional Commander Superintendent Simon McBean also could not say what the penalties are.

He told the News Room that he has requested a copy of the Public Health Ordinance from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) since the Act is an old one which is not available online.

In the interim, the senior cop said that the Police Force has some “guidelines on draft charges” from the DPP and for now, those who breach the order will be given an official warning.

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