Opposition criticises Taste of Carnival’s COVID ‘hypocrisy’ in T&T

The Public Health Regulations are being called into question by the Opposition after what it described as “hypocrisy”, as some Carnival events appear to become potential super-spreader events.

The point was raised by Opposition chief whip and Point-a-Pierre MP David Lee at a press conference yesterday.

“I happened to pass outside Queen’s Hall and a big fete presently is taking place… people with no mask, no social distancing,” he said.

“And yet the public health regulations is asking families if you’re travelling in your car, more than one individual, if you’re a couple or your family is with you, you must wear your mask even though you are fully vaccinated in that vehicle. Something has to be wrong with this government and the Public Health Regulations.”

He also cited the regulations which limit religious organisations to keeping service within 90 minutes “yet in Queen’s Hall car park you have hundreds of people partying.”

He also cited numerous events within recent days where videos surfaced of partygoers who weren’t adhering to social distancing or mask-wearing protocols.

“I do not know how they are not breaking the health protocols but innocent people driving in their cars, their facemasks might be slightly down and police stop them and want to give them a ticket,” Lee said.

This, he described as “hypocrisy by this government and those public health regulations”.

“I want to ask the CMO (Chief Medical Officer), how does he feel about what he’s seeing and witnessing and I have not heard a word from the CMO about what’s happening in the savannah over the last four or three days,” he said.

Former UNC senator Sean Sobers also chimed in with another experience that highlighted their position.

“It’s really, really disheartening and confusing that a fete could really and truly be happening right around the corner from where we are now but when the United National Congress, the women’s arm of the party writes the Commissioner of Police to have a peaceful march in Debe, we are denied the ability to so do because we are under this COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“But as MP Lee would have indicated, fete, wine and jam could be happening down the road but peaceful protest – you don’t want that. Make it make sense and that is what we have been asking for…it cannot be there is one rule for persons to fete and party and lime but people who want to hold a peaceful protest are being denied the ability.”

The UNC’s view is not unique as many citizens have also pointed out the apparent double standard on social media since the events began.

Commenting under a video of people crossing the stage at a concert in the Queen’s Park Savannah on Saturday night, one person said: “My kids have to wear masks when we are driving anywhere… We have to eat in our cars in the car parks, cuz the food court chairs are chained up… for the sake of health protocols… yet every night, we see persons feting with masks off… What good for one must be good for all… Remove the mask mandates and allow dining NOW!”

People also pointed out that while these events are being attended by fully vaccinated people, there is still the threat of transmitting the virus.

Similar sentiments circulated widely through social media, almost synonymous with the emergence of similar videos of protocols allegedly being breached at events.

However, while police have been present at these events no charges were laid.

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