Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has issued a stern warning that breaches of the established protocols put in place to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, will not be tolerated in the tourism sector.

This as he underscored that the controversial staging of the Mocha Fest event at Rick’s Café in Negril was in direct breach of the Government’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Mr. Bartlett stressed that “the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCo), which is a public body of the Ministry of Tourism, has acted immediately to ensure that appropriate steps were taken to punish the entity that was in breach of the protocols.”

Earlier today, TPDCo withdrew Rick’s Café’s COVID-19 compliance certification with immediate effect. Consequently, Rick’s Café will be required to undergo a re-certification exercise to ensure strict adherence to the established COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols before it can be allowed to accept visitors again.

Additionally the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has announced that it has ordered Rick’s Café closed for seven days and that the management of the establishment has been summoned to a meeting with officials from the Ministry and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management on Monday.