A bartender at a bar in Cunupia and six patrons have appeared in court for breach of the ongoing public health regulations for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bartender Shena Ali and patrons Alvin Hall, Amid Ali, Kanesh Ranjitsingh, Eunice Ruiz De La Rosa, Luz De La Cruz and Candida Gomez appeared before Magistrate Duane Murray on Monday after being arrested at the bar along the Southern Main Road in Cunupia the previous day.
According to the summary of evidence against the group, police officers were on patrol in the area when they noticed several cars parked in front of the bar, which was open for business.
The officers allegedly saw the group seated at the bar, being served alcoholic beverages, which they were consuming. The officers claimed that the group got up and attempted to disperse from area when they entered the establishment to speak to them.
Shena Ali was charged for gathering in a group of more than five persons and for aiding and abetting the six others to breach the regulations by serving them alcohol. The patrons were charged with gathering in a group of five and for consuming alcohol at a bar.
Under the regulations, which are periodically amended based on the Government’s evolving policies to address the pandemic, bars and dine-in restaurants are allowed to open at half capacity for vaccinated customers. Bars and restaurants are not allowed to serve alcohol to customers but would be allowed to do so from November 1.
The day after the group was arrested, the regulations were amended to allow the gathering of groups of 10 in public.
During the hearing before Magistrate Murray, attorney Bhimal Maharajh, who represented Shena Ali, Amid Ali and Ranjitsingh asked for the case to be deferred as he had not been able to take instructions from his clients on how they wish to plead to the charges.
Shena Ali, 41, from Chaguanas, was granted $30,000 bail with a surety, while Amid Ali, a 39-year-old construction worker from Freeport, was granted $15,000 own bail.
Ranjitsingh, a 27-year-old electrician, was also granted $15,000 own bail.
Their cases were adjourned to November 1, when Magistrate Murray is expected to read the charges to them and take their pleas.
The cases for the four other patrons were dealt with separately.