By Aaron Humes: The progressive Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout, Cayo District, has become the unexpected vanguard of opposition to national regulations and mandates on COVID-19.
Some of its residents staged a protest last year after a crackdown on regulations and there are still reports of flouting of regulations.
And so, according to Minister of Health and Wellness Kevin Bernard, the Ministry took a second look at plans for a business expo to be held in the village over the weekend of March 25: “I said to the people at Spanish Lookout when they initially wrote that we are not here to stop business, we are not here to stop any kind of activity that will help generate economic movement within our space; but at the end of the day we must do it responsibly and so the S.I. speaks of the number of people that are to be gathered and if you need to request special permission then you come to the Ministry of Health and you get that permission. So, before I even responded to say you know what go out and let’s have a full blast expo, initially we gave the permission but we retracted that and said, you know what, we need to send our medical team and get an analysis of how it’s going to be look at the layout, look at the plan out in the necessary restrictions.”
The Minister said he was now satisfied with the Spanish Lookout Business Chamber’s plans from what he’s seen: “What I got over the weekend was that it is workable. It is something that they feel at the Ministry of Health – well the team that went out there – can be managed with enough police presence, enforcement, proper spacing of where they will have their event. At the same time, again I drive back this point; we must remember that it is the responsibility of those who organize, but at the same time the responsibility of us who attend. And, while you mentioned the Mennonite community, I understand there is an issue there, but I think the guidelines we are sending them is that you must wear your mask. So if you fail to do so, then we cannot have an expo. You, as the organizer, must follow the rules we are telling you that we are setting out for this event to take place.”