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Restaurant owner charged for allowing patrons inside his business without a mask; says they were eating

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Posted: Saturday, June 19, 2021. 9:54 am CST.

By BBN Staff: A Belize City man who owns a restaurant in Ladyville is headed to full trial at the Magistrates Court after police charged him with allowing people who were not wearing face masks inside his business

Forty-four-year-old, Jose Nelson Mejia, appeared unrepresented before Magistrate, Audrey Grinage, answering to a single charge of allowing a person to be in his establishment without a face mask or other nose or face covering.

When questioned in court, Mejia contends that the patrons were not wearing their masks when police visited the restaurant located on  Wood Pecker Avenue on April 11, because they were eating.

When asked by the magistrate what type of business he operates, Mejia said a restaurant.

Magistrate Grinage entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and informed him that the matter will have to go to trial.  He was offered bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount, which he met and the case was adjourned until August 18, 2021 when he is expected to be provided with disclosure in the case against him.

Police Commissioner Chester Williams has, on several occasions warned that police will be enforcing penalties for violations COVID-19 regulations against business owners who are not diligent in enforcing them. The outcome of the case will have far reaching implications on businesses going forward.

We will be following this case.

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