Massive ‘West Side’ party shut down by Task Force; artistes could be arrested in future

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A massive, unauthorised party at the Aracari resort in Region Three (Essequibo Islands- West Demerara), that featured some local and foreign performers, was shut down by the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) on Sunday night.

This ‘Chutney Jam’ party was promoted extensively despite the existing National COVID-19 regulations that include restrictions on large social gatherings such as parties. Additionally, a special notice for the holiday season was provided, advising against these events.

An official from the Task Force told the News Room that the members of the Joint Services cracked down on the event after 20:00 hrs on Sunday night, which was Boxing Night.

The gates to the event opened at 16:00 hrs but the chutney show officially started at around 19:00 hrs.

When the members of the Joint Services arrived, the official said that patrons started to flee the venue. The official also said that the promoters of the event ran away.

Mass arrests were not made. The News Room understands that the host of the show, known as Golden Chyld, was arrested. Some of the music equipment were also seized.

Importantly, the official warned that with businesses continuing to flout the COVID-19 regulations the Task Force will take much sterner actions. And, artistes who perform at these shows, even foreign artistes, may be arrested in future.

“Our [health] situation is very favourable right now but the Omicron (variant) is coming eventually just like the Delta variant came,” the official said, explaining that large gatherings will contribute to the spread of the deadly COVID-19 variants.

And this massive ‘West Side’ party was not the only large gathering held at the Christmas weekend that was in breach of the COVID-19 regulations.

There was also a large event at the Tower Hotel on Main Street, Georgetown. The official said that this event reportedly started after midnight, which is when the national curfew takes effect.

Not only was the event was in breach of the national COVID- 19 regulations but fire safety concerns were also raised because of the number of people at the venue and the limited exit points

Based on a video shared with the News Room, scores of people were seen exiting the nightclub at the hotel via a small door. The Task Force official said that there were only two small doors and with so many people attending the event, it was a major fire and safety hazard.

Currently, several establishments have been suspended after they were operating in breach of the national COVID-19 regulations.

In Georgetown, the establishments that have been shut down include: the Georgetown Softball and Cricket League Inc.. the Everest Cricket Club, the Lux Bar, Tower Hotel Suites, Bajan Car Wash and Hookah Bar, Delon’s Super Bet and Bar and the Blue Martini.

The Boat House on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD), the Freedom Bar at Soesdyke on the East Bank of Demerara, and the Euphoria Bar near the Rosignol stelling in Region Five have also been suspended.

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