Letter to the Editor: COVID-19 Fines

THE EDITOR: As we enter yet another tight covid19 lockdown, one cannot help wondering how we slipped from our generally commendable performance in the first half of 2020 to these terrifying numbers of deaths and hospitalisations.

In August 2020, the COVID-19 regulations were changed to penalise unauthorised congregations and failure to wear masks. Despite the high stakes, I was sceptical as to how many of those tickets were actually issued and how many fines had actually been paid. For one thing, the evident levels of congregation and liming testified to people ignoring the law.

The AG confirmed – in Newsday’s May 5 edition – that fines for breaches of the covid19 regulations will actually be payable from May 15, with electronic payments also being an option. So it was previously impossible to pay those fines and it is deplorable that such an important element of our pandemic planning was allowed to remain incomplete at the stage of utmost importance. This was a true and costly failure of our public administration.

I have no doubt that the reckless behaviour would have been curbed if those fines were actually collected from those who received the reported 10,000 tickets issued. Yet here we are, on the edge of the precipice, wondering which official or department was responsible for this grievous lapse. No comment on this from the PM or any officials, so the Code of Silence seems intact, even when the health of the general public is at stake.

The Judiciary just invited expressions of interest (EoIs) for an electronic payments system, with a closing date of May 11. After examination of those EoIs, qualified contractors will be identified before they can be invited to tender, so some delays could be expected.

Will anyone be held responsible for these lapses?


Port of Spain


5 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: COVID-19 Fines

  1. Dear Afra:

    I thank you for sharing. I really want to come home but at this rate I don’t know when it’s possibly.

    Just heard that one of my Trini boyhood friends just got COVID-19. He is at Caura.



    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Afra, Fining people have not resulted in any success; mores o when there is a corrupt Police Service. Countries that has showed some success got a lot of co-operation from its citizens, whether it was voluntary or compulsory like North Korea. It remains up to the people.

  3. The politicians of course have set up the population to believe that this spike is the people’s fault ,while deliberately covering up critical contributors,including their own inefficiencies and mismanagement.Also I believe the numbers of the P1 variant are being concealed.Who is monitoring how effectively our borders are being secured?

  4. I am bemused by the folly of our leaders whose faith in fines is finite and then say we are 120 billion dollars in debt. Structured fiscal inefficiencies are capitalistic loopholes which are legally supported by an equally porous judiciary. Covid or Complete Virtual Identification by 2030 is more plausible than the ambiguous policy reversals of the vaccines’ origins, compositions and functions. Even the thought of paying 1,000 dollars for not masking is ridiculous and the insistence of collecting the fines rather than the evaluation of the efficacy of public masking speaks to an economic not health concern.

    Our nation is filthy, unkempt and unsavory at every physical and aesthetic level including at Mt. Hope where I visit weekly. I had hoped for a centre for Covid free citizens which borders will stringently expand until the nation is either divided or purged, but our PM could not avoid contamination so we are convinced that their measures are the only valid ones. I’m sure that there are pockets of Covid free environments here whose activities we may imitate, but we must vaccinate.

    Haiti’s most incredible avoidance is being sidelined in favour of India’s apparent spike. These biases point us to speculate; as with 9-11, the global economic corruption practices and the Trump and other political adventures, all Hollywood in scope, content and acceptance; about what is actually planned.

  5. The impossibility of Trinis being even slightly grateful for the attempts of the Government to keep us safe is interesting!

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