Statia introduces events policy in addition to existing regulations
Effective Friday July 31st, 2020 the Public Entity of St. Eustatius (OLE) has introduced an events policy, which is to be used in addition to the existing regulations of events. The reason for this is that some events are being held without the necessary permits and/or without adhering to the guidelines and conditions given with the permit posing a potential safety risk for the general public.
Business establishments in possession of an operational and business license issued by the Public Entity of St. Eustatius are obliged to strictly adhere to their existing license. There has been a lack of non-compliance and strict enforcement with regards to the use of the mentioned permits. However, due to the COVID 19 pandemic it has become necessary for the Public Entity to strictly enforce. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our inhabitants of St. Eustatius. “During the course of next week, a meeting will be held with establishments to go over the events policy in detail and to explain under which conditions permission (number of patrons, safety and hygiene measures) will be granted to host events”, says Alida Francis, Deputy Government Commissioner.
Before a permit is granted the advice of the Police, Fire Brigade and Public Health Department (GGD) is required. Each request is assessed on three main points; public order and safety, public health and fire safety measures. This year, in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, there have been many requests for large events. The Public Entity has been cautious in granting these types of permits due to the reality of the times in which we are living and also based on the capacity of emergency support services to handle such events.
Establishments with a coffeehouse- and/or restaurant permit are not allowed to host events. In order to host an event, the operator of the establishment should approach the Governor’s Cabinet to apply separately for an event permit. Establishments or organizations advertising an event prior to obtaining the required permit do so at their own risk as this does not constitute an obligation of the government to issue the permit. Also, businesses should have their permits visible on the outside of the main entrance of the facility so that it is clearly visible to the general public. Strictly adhering to the permit becomes even more necessary due to COVID-19.