Just after 6 p.m. Friday, Government House released a statement to the press which said, “Neither Governor Albert Bryan Jr., Government House nor the administration’s COVID-19 Task Force has made any official announcements concerning beach closures, added restrictions to restaurants’ current operations or further restrictions on gatherings at funerals or other events in the territory.”
The release also mentioned that as a courtesy government officials had “met with tourism industry stakeholders [Thursday] and signaled possible future actions.” It went on to say the meetings and conversations “were intended to serve as a courtesy, and the actions mentioned during that meeting are contingent on the data received over the coming days.”
Among the “actions mentioned,” which were not included in Friday’s official statement, were to close the restaurants effective Tuesday for two weeks and possibly the beaches. Meanwhile, the “stakeholders” were all over Facebook before any official word on the closings was sent from Government House to the press.
Monday, Bryan held true to Friday’s statement. He said that after much deliberation over the weekend, “his team” had decided instead of closing restaurants and beaches again, they were going to be “unforgiving and brutal” with businesses that were not complying with mask-wearing, social distancing rules and other guidelines that have been established under the COVID-19 state of emergency. For those who keep ignoring the law, “We will close you down,” he said.
The Source will provide full coverage of the press conference by the end of Monday. Meanwhile, these are the numbers community members can call to report infractions and text photos to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs:
K’wanda Daniels, special assistant to the DLCA commissioner, said Monday that hers was the best number to text information to. That number is 340-725-5129. The other two numbers are:
On St. Croix 340-727-7226 and on St. Thomas 340-771-7226.
These are all cellphone numbers and as such can receive texts and photos.