Businesses risk revocation of Environmental Health Certificate, closure, in addition to fines
The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands (VI) today, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, approved a range of penalties and fines for both individuals and businesses who violate COVID-19 guidelines meant to prevent the spread of the virus.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in a statement released late this afternoon said that as part of the new Cabinet-backed decisions, the Ministry of Health will also instruct the Attorney General to consider all relevant legislation for the purpose of enacting provisions to adhere to the social distancing measures.
Individuals will be fined
Measures include the wearing of face masks/coverings by all individuals when in an indoor or outdoor public space and the maintaining of six (6) feet of physical distance between individuals when in an indoor or outdoor space.
On the business end, companies must ensure that employees and customers wear face masks/coverings and adhere to all social distancing measures approved by the government or face a range of penalties for defiance.
For individuals violating the above guidelines, the first offence will come with a warning, second offence will attract a fine and education/training with each subsequent offence attracting a further fine.
Individuals who fail to pay a fine will incur a penalty, however, specifics were not given on what the penalties are, or the value of the fine.
Businesses risk closure
Businesses will receive a warning for the first offence and the second offence will incur a fine and notice of closure, subject to re-inspection and education/training.
However, the third offence could see businesses being subjected to the revocation of their Environmental Health Certificate, closure and a further penalty.
The Premier said with the ‘New Regular,’ the VI has to learn to live and work with COVID-19. He encouraged all to continue social distancing, washing of hands and strict adherence to wearing masks.