NASSAU, BAHAMAS — With more scheduled events appearing on social media for the holidays, Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle has reminded residents of the increased fines associated with social gatherings on prohibited islands.
Numerous advertised parties via invite-only have appeared on social media with no specific location.
While several of these flyers promote wearing facial masks, the use of cellphones is prohibited.
Rolle said: “The penalties have been increased and the media should get the message out that penalties now are $2,000 for the host plus $300 he [or she] has to pay for each attendee and each attendee will also be fined $300.”
As it relates to these planned events, the commissioner said police will “look into them”.
Social gatherings remain prohibited on Abaco, New Providence, Eleuthera and Exuma.
Gatherings not exceeding 20 people are permitted on other islands, however.
Earlier this month, the commissioner said police were seeing fewer incidents of events.
Since then, there have been a number of large events.
More than a week ago, footage emerged showing well over 75 patrons at Charms lounge.
According to police, the proprietor and manager were cited for hosting a social gathering and failing to practice social distancing.
As police entered the premises, scores of patrons were seen exiting without facial masks — a breach which carries a $200 fine.
Authorities have repeatedly cautioned restaurants and bars which breach the COVID-19 to protocols to cease or be shut down.
Increased cases on certain islands, including Eleuthera, have been tied to bars.
As a result of a resurgence of cases, social gatherings and bars were prohibited from operating on the island.
Eleuthera was also placed under a weekday curfew and 24-hour weekend curfew.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis also expressed concerns about residents hosting events during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“I also want to advise all Bahamians that next week is Thanksgiving and very soon is Christmas,” he said.
“We must not let our guard down. We must continue with social distancing and wearing of masks.
“Rather than giving your friends, neighbors or colleagues a gift of Christmas, you may possibly give them a gift of COVID, which can be extremely dangerous and detrimental.”
Amid a downward trend of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, officials have said residents must not let their guard down.
Cases of COVID-19 dropped 44 percent last week, with 104 cases compared to the 187 cases recorded the week prior.
There were 13 new infections reported on Sunday.