July 14, 2021 Political parties in St Lucia contesting the July 26 general election have agreed to a ban on motorcades. A statement issued by the Royal St. Lucia Police Force said Commissioner Milton Desir met with representatives of the ruling United Workers Party, the St. Lucia Labour Party and the National Green Party where the issue was discussed.
The statement said failure to adhere to the guidelines may result in the revocation of permits for future activities.
A review will be conducted following this weekend’s scheduled activities.
The statement by the police follows concerns raised by health authorities about a large number of people gathering without adhering to COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing and wearing masks.
Dr. Merle Clarke, President of the St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association, issued a statement warning about the consequences of outrageous campaigning during a pandemic.
“We implore you, our political leaders, to encourage supporters to get vaccinated. Lead by the power of your example. Remember that a large number of infected supporters would inadvertently affect voter turnout. Citizens your voice is heard best at the ballot box, not at a campaign rally,” Clarke said.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness said that “over the last 14 days, we note an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis. We also note the increased campaign-related activities within the communities.
“All approved activities must be managed as per protocols. It is of grave concern that we note mass crowd activities, no physical distancing, masks not worn or worn inappropriately,” the statement said, adding that “the public is reminded that we are still managing a pandemic with over 100 active cases in the country with low vaccine coverage.
“This puts us at high risk for in-country transmission due to large activities without adherence to public health measures,” the ministry warned.
All political parties are urged to encourage their followers to adhere to all protocols to avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases on the island.