Majority of Mocha Fest revellers tested COVID-19 negative on leaving Jamaica — source

Jamaica Observer sources are claiming that despite the obvious breaches of the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA), the majority of people who attended the Mocha Fest parties in the island last week tested negative for COVID-19 on leaving the island.

The sources say 1,400 visitors from the United States came to Jamaica for Mocha Fest with more than 90 per cent of that group leaving on Monday.

A negative COVID-19 test is required to enter the US, with the same rule applying for entry into Jamaica. Additionally, approximately half of Mocha Fest guests reportedly provided proof that they had been fully vaccinated in the US.

“While they did participate in an event at Rick’s Caf that clearly breached the DRMA, which is inexcusable, the fact that to date none has tested positive for COVID-19 and many are also vaccinated, shows that Jamaica can effectively execute outdoor bubble events like parties that substantially reduce the risk of contracting and spreading of COVID-19,” argued the source in the tourism sector who declined to be named.

“In short, the negative test requirement for visiting Jamaica, plus the fact that many Americans are now fully vaccinated opens the door for rational discourse on ways to reopen aspects of the Jamaican economy whilst safeguarding public health,” added the source.

The Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Product Development Company have both denied that they were accessories to the five-day party festival, while Prime Minister Andrew Holness has indicated that an investigation is ongoing into how the parties were allowed.

Rick’s Caf has had its operation licence suspended for seven days with talks scheduled to take place with Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie this week.

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