Jamaica Observer: KINGSTON — The operators of Rick’s Cafe in Negril where the now controversial Mocha Fest party was held on Thursday have expressed regret and apologised for hosting the event which has led to Jamaicans accusing the authorities of double standard over the staging of entertainment events in breach of COVID-19 regulations.

“We acknowledge the Mocha-Fest party on Thursday afternoon at Rick’s Cafe became more crowded than expected under current protocols for entertainment venues,” Rick’s Cafe said in a statement issued a short while ago.

“Prior to entering all people were temperature checked, hand sanitised and face masks were required for entry. We deeply regret that it occurred and sincerely apologise for allowing it to happen.

“Going forward we will redouble compliance training to ensure this does not happen again,” the statement said.

The event triggered anger on social media as a video showing large crowds of people not wearing face masks partying close together made the rounds.

Among the criticisms levelled at the Government on Twitter was one from a woman who posts under the handle @ValentinaJSS who said: “Andrew? Honestly, 2say im UPSET is an UNDERSTATEMENT! Ppl are suffering bc of these nightly curfews; can barely pay bills & buy food. Small business sector suffering due 2 weekend curfew hours BUT #mochafest can keep!? Foreigners can come here & BREATHE WHILE WE SUFFOCATE!!!”

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