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Eight p.m. curfew remains in place; UDP asks to reconsider

Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2021. 8:24 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Yesterday on social media, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams confirmed that the eight p.m. to five a.m. curfew time instituted before Christmas was still in place and would not be relaxed to ten p.m. as some reports suggested.

But the United Democratic Party (UDP) has questioned the very constitutionality of the curfew, which ordinarily would be instituted as part of a national or regional state of emergency.

In a statement on Friday calling on the Government to revisit the quarantine measures updated in December, the UDP, which first instituted a national curfew last April and continued it to varying degrees up to the end of its administration in November, pointed out that no national state of emergency, which requires approval by the House of Representatives, or the Governor General, was declared, contrary to the Constitution.

Second, the party said no end date has been announced, which is not only unconstitutional, it said, but inconsiderate of businesses and workers who find themselves unable to plan.

Numbers of new infections have fallen considerably since the curfew’s implementation, but there are still persons moving around in violation. At last week’s meeting of the House of Representatives which ran up to 8 p.m., Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa had to obtain special permission from the Commissioner for parliamentarians and workers of the National Assembly to get home safely without being stopped by police checkpoints.

We await a response from the Minister and/or the Government on the issue.

 

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