Night-time event ban at Government facilities announced
A ban was today slapped on night-time events at Government properties after police were forced to break up a party of more than 100 people in the Botanical Gardens at the weekend.
A spokesman for the public works ministry said: “The need to promote the safe use of Parks’ facilities, especially in light of the ongoing challenges of the pandemic presents the ideal opportunity to re-examine our policies.
“Therefore, effective immediately, all night-time events in government facilities, parks and beaches are cancelled until further notice.”
But he added: “Day time events for gatherings larger than 25 persons will continue provided there is the written approval from the Ministry of National Security, which will include all necessary guidelines as per the Department of Health.”
He was speaking last night after police raided a birthday celebration at the Horticultural Hall in the Paget gardens at about 11pm last Friday – but no arrests were made.
Commissioner of Police Steven Corbishley later condemned the recklessness of the partygoers.
The public works spokesman said: “The Department of Parks issued a special permit to an individual to hold what was listed as a birthday party of fewer than 25 persons in attendance at this location, in keeping with the current public health regulations.
“The Department has no authority to issue permits or exemptions from Covid-19 regulations.
“Applicants who wish to hold events with more than 25 persons must first apply for and receive an exemption from the Ministry of National Security.
“That approval must be submitted with the permit request for the event to the Department of Parks.”
The spokesman said no exemption certificate was submitted with the birthday party application.
He added: “In keeping with the Department’s operational policy, a staff member opens and closes the facility, but they do not remain on-site to monitor the event.”
“Day time events for gatherings larger than 25 persons will continue provided there is the written approval from the Ministry of National Security, which will include all necessary guidelines as per the Department of Health.”
He added the parks department was “assisting the Bermuda Police Service with their enquiries”.