Scores of party goers from over the world breached the Jamaica Covid-19 restrictions when they turned up at Mochafest at Rick’s Café in Negril Westmoreland, causing the entertainment venue to lose their Covid-19 Compliant Certificate, it was revoked by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) shortly after viral videos began to circulate online about the event.
The managers of Rick’s Café said some Covid measures were enforced, as facemasks wearing, hand sanitization and temperature checks were carried out when patrons were entering the venue, as they were required. The event was more crowded than expected. Based on what was seen in the videos that are being circulated, not many persons were wearing masks.
The event was first cancelled in 2020 but it was promoted in 2021 as the operators ignored the pandemic. The party was promoted on the official Visit Jamaica website up until Thursday, but it was removed after.
Officials from the Jamaica Tourist Board and professionals from the health ministry says no permission was granted for the event to be hosted. Senior strategist in the Tourism Ministry Delano Sieveright said “the ministry was appalled and a full investigation was launched.
The popular Western Jamaica hot spot was badly overcrowded and the managers have apologized since then. The operators of the venue will be required to undergo a recertification exercise to ensure strict adherence to the accepted health and safety protocols before the business is allowed to reopen.
The party “Mochafest” began on Monday May 24 and was not scheduled to end until Monday the 31st. It is known as a ‘vacation party experience’, patrons paid a minimum of US$310 for the 5 day experience and US$40 more for the full 7 days. Tickets were sold out by May 14th.
The government is currently being criticised because of the breach and local entertainers said there is a double standard.
Learn more from the news report below.