Residents of Bon Accord and Crown Point, Tobago, are calling on the island’s police to enforce COVID-19 rules and regulations similar to their Trinidad counterparts.
The call comes after 250 persons were charged Sunday for attending a ‘zesser’ party at Kelly Village, Caroni.
Tobagonians say while they are happy about Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement, at Saturday’s media briefing, that the island’s villas are fully booked for the holidays.
However, they say they fear community spread of the coronavirus as renters flout COVID rules regarding the size of gatherings.
They also claim the island’s police are not enforcing the pandemic’s guidelines. According to the Public Health Ordinance, no more than 10 people are permitted to gather in a public space.
“The police keep telling us they do not have any rights to go onto the property and disburse these gatherings. However, police in Trinidad were able to stop that party over the weekend,” one resident who lives next to many villas, pointed out.
He added: “These (parties) are breeding grounds, and people drink, once it passes a certain hour and the alcohol soaks in then you can’t reason with them. We were cussed over the weekend when we told them not to park in front of our gate,” one resident told Guardian Media.
Another resident claimed realtors fail to check potential renters.
“There is absolutely no screening of any of the tenants. Whoever comes, whoever wants to rent it, rents it, and often it’s packed out with people because these villas go for quite a lot of money, and it becomes doable if they pack out the villas, so no attempt is being made to obey COVID restrictions,” the resident, who does not want to be named said.
Another resident, who did not want to be named for fear of being targeted, said she feels helpless as the partygoer’s abuse residents who speak to them about noise pollution and parking.
However, a major realtor, who rents many of the island’s villas, said renters are screened, and restrictions on property usage set, in keeping with the health restrictions.
Pat Phillips, of Island Investment, told Guardian Media all coronavirus rules and regulations are enforced.
She said villas go for between $1,500 and $3,000 per night and there is a limit to the number of people in each.
All attempts to reach senior Tobago officers for comment on the situation proved futile as all were at career promotion interviews on Monday.