Devon House party breach may not affect reopening of entertainment industry

by July 6th, 2020

The circulation of a video of a party being held on the premises of The Reggae Mill Restaurant and Bar at Devon House in St. Andrew over the weekend, has resulted in that business being ordered closed effective today, for the next two weeks.

The restaurant and popular entertainment venue has been ordered closed for breaches of the curfew orders, and the ban of gatherings at places of amusement, under the Disaster Risk Management Order currently in place.

Speaking at a press briefing on Sunday (July 5), Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, said, based on information gathered, an event has been held at the location every weekend, for almost five weeks, with hundreds of persons not observing social distancing.

Minister McKenzie sounded a clear warning that wherever a restaurant is found to be operating as a restaurant and night club, where party music is being played, those facilities will be closed with immediate effect.

Following a meeting with the top management at Devon House today, Minister McKenzie has made the decision not to penalize the remaining 25 shops that operate out of Devon House but stated that no place of amusement license will be granted for the next four to six weeks, and has tasked the management to take all necessary steps to ensure there are no further breaches of protocols.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams has sought to assure members of the entertainment industry that while the series of events at Devon House, and other spots in the corporate area now under investigation are disappointing, it should not affect any decisions the Government will make regarding the reopening of the entertainment industry.

For the past two weeks, key stakeholders in the entertainment industry have been calling on the government to facilitate conversations surrounding the safe and effective reopening of Jamaica’s entertainment industry which continues to suffer a major loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back in March, comedic actor, Bad Boy Trevor was the first to be penalized after he was caught hosting a pool party in Kingston. He was charged with breaches of the Disaster Risk Management Act, the Noise Abatement Act, the S.O.E Act, and the Spirit License Act.