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Rick’s Cafe charged over MOCA fest


Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, says charges have been laid against members of the management of Rick’s Cafe, which breached the COVID-19 protocols in hosting a Mocha Fest party at its premises in western Jamaica.

McKenzie, who was speaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing this morning, said the charges were laid yesterday.

The minister said investigations revealed, among other things, that the entity was operating without the requisite place of amusement license.

He said the ministry has another location in Negril in its crosshairs and will be meeting with them shortly. He declined to name the entity.

Rick’s Café was ordered closed for seven days on Friday, May 28 after hosting Mocha Fest, which led to Jamaicans accusing the authorities of double standard over the staging of entertainment events in breach of COVID-19 regulations.

The Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo) also withdrew its COVID-19 compliance certification with immediate effect, noting that it would have to undergo a recertification exercise to ensure strict adherence to the established COVID-19 health and safety protocols before it can be allowed to accept visitors again.

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