Police will investigate the Sekon Sunday concert at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith said yesterday.
He said as far as the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is concerned, the event was a public party.
In a statement, he said according to Section 4 (1) (d) of The Public Health (2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)) Regulations, 2021, it is an offence to hold public parties or public fetes.
“The law was quite clear and there must be a level playing field for all as the police intend to follow the Covid-19 regulations, with the sole purpose of preventing its spread,” said Griffith.
The Second Sunday event had Sekon Sta (Nesta Boxill) as the main artiste.
Farmer Nappy (Darryl Henry) and Nailah Blackman also performed.
Griffith said police will investigate the event, which was carried live on TV and social media platforms.
“The video footage was quite clear, in that it showed numerous patrons inside Queen’s Hall dancing to the music of several artistes,” he said.
On Monday, Griffith reminded the population that positive Covid-19 cases were still being diagnosed after the police shut down two events over the weekend—a birthday party at a hall inside a building that also accommodates the Passage to Asia restaurant in Chaguanas and a beach party at Tyrico Bay.
Meeting with managers of other premises
The Express reached out to Sekon Sta yesterday, but was told by his manager, Shane Stanford, that he was in studio.
On Monday, Queen’s Hall manager Garfield George said all Covid-19 protocols were observed at the Sekon Sunday concert.
George said he had to clear the air on the soca event after many negative comments were seen on social media that proper social distancing was not practised and some patrons were seen waving their masks to the music.
Express photojournalist Jermaine Cruickshank posted a video on the Trinidad Express social media platforms showing patrons at Queen’s Hall were observing social distancing.
George denied patrons were waving their masks as he said one of the sponsors, the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), handed out rags when patrons entered the venue.
“Probably at the angle pictures were taken, persons assumed it was their masks they were waving when in fact it was the rags,” said George.
Griffith said he has been informed that similar events like the one which took place at Queen’s Hall are being planned and being advertised on social media.
He said he also took note of a notice the Ministry of Tourism indicating that four places were open for business—Queen’s Hall, Naparima Bowl, the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) and the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA).
Griffith said police intend to “meet with the managers of these premises to explain to them that in the case of Queen’s Hall, there was certainly a breach of the Public Health Ordinance regulations”.
Griffith said promoters, “in the absence of Carnival 2021, are trying to be novel by organising events in public spaces with all the ingredients of a party or, in some cases, a band launching”.
He suggested that promoters and the public take note of what has happened in other countries where such events took place, and these countries’ health facilities became so overburdened that space in hospitals ran out.