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Gov't blasted for double standards after videos surface of Mocha Fest party in Negril

I.B. Konteh, Director of Marketing and Communications for Strictly 2K and Soca Forever, and Tara Playfair Scott, Communications and Marketing Consultant
 
The Holness administration is under fire from members of the entertainment industry who have accused it of sending conflicting signals regarding COVID-19 restrictions.
 
There are howls of protest from the sector after videos surfaced showing large gatherings for a week long entertainment event in Negril, Westmoreland.
 
Radio Jamaica News was informed Thursday that, since the start of the week, more than 800 tourists, mainly from the US, have converged on Negril for parties being held as part of the event dubbed Mocha Fest.
 
A tourism source told Radio Jamaica News that the overseas patrons were required to provide COVID-19 test results and have been restricted to specific resorts in the town.
 
However, this is not going down well with key players in the local entertainment sector who say Jamaicans have been treated unfairly as gathering limits remain in effect and the ban on entertainment events continues.
 
I.B. Konteh, Director of Marketing and Communications for Strictly 2K and Soca Forever, told Radio Jamaica News it appears that tourists are getting special treatment from local authorities. 
 
"If they have found a solution on the resilient corridor, whatever that solution is for the entertainment industry to reopen for tourists, why can't we find a solution for locals? It's just ironic and it's a slap in the face for citizens who are being arrested, who are being charged for partying, while if you're a tourist you can come on the island and be partying, and based on the videos I'm seeing, no social distancing, no mask wearing," he contended.  
 
The Ministry of Tourism has said it is investigating the matter. 
 
But communications and marketing consultant Tara Playfair Scott has scoffed at the ministry's intention to investigate the Mocha Fest event.
 
In an interview with Radio Jamaica News on Friday, Mrs Playfair Scott said the ministry should have been aware of the event as the Jamaica Tourist Board's logo was on the fliers for the event. 
 
"How could you not be aware that someone is using your logo, your intellectual property on their event? They weren't hiding it!" she asserted.  
 
Mrs Playfair Scott said she has been left shocked and confused by the breach of protocols.
 
She said while she is not against the staging of the event, there has to be a level playing field.
 
"We need to see a plan.... It cannot continue like this....There are people and businesses suffering. Something needs to happen. We need a phased reopening. Something," she demanded.  
 


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