Second bar owner charged for operating a bar during the COVID-19 crisis

The owner of a bar in California was granted bail in the sum of $1,000 at the Couva Police Station and is due to appear at the Couva Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow, Wednesday 1st April, 2020.

According to official police reports, Ernest Todd, the owner of Larry’s Bar at First Street, Dow Village in California, was arrested and charged on Monday 30th March 2020, for breaching the Public Health 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-Cov) Regulations, which states that “it shall be an offense, during the period specified in Regulation 3, for any person, to conduct the business of a bar, whether or not the person is a licensed person under the Liquor Licences Act”. 

Reports are that on Sunday 29th March 2020, officers of the Central Divisional Task Force (CDTF South Unit) were on mobile patrol in the Couva district, when they had cause to warn Todd about entertaining customers and selling alcoholic drinks at his business place. He gave the officers assurances that he would comply with the law. 

However, around 1:30pm on Monday 30th March 2020, Sgt Thompson received information and returned to the said establishment, along with officers of the CDTF South Unit.

The officers observed approximately 13 persons, buying and consuming alcoholic beverages on the said compound.  Persons were also seated around several tables consuming alcoholic beverages. PC Thurton identified himself to Mr Todd, told him of his observations, cautioned him and later arrested and charged Mr Todd for the offence at the Couva Police Station.

Ernest Todd is the second owner/proprietor of a bar to be arrested and charged for breaching the Public Health 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-Cov) Regulations.