Anse La Raye police arrested a total of 45 individuals who were attending a ‘river lime’ Sunday, law enforcement officials have confirmed.
Videos posted on social media showed men and women, some with bath towels and dressed in bathing attire, walking behind an unmarked police vehicle with at least one armed police officer bringing up the rear.
A law enforcement official said a number of children who were also present at the riverside event were transported in police vehicles.
According to police, members of the group were not adhering to COVID-19 social distancing protocols.
The arrests came as Saint Lucia recorded its 18th COVID-19 case.
Police say they acted in accordance with Section 10 of Saint Lucia’s State of Emergency regulations that place restrictions on social activities.
According to the section, ‘ A person shall not host or attend — (a) a private party; (b) a competitive sporting event; (c) a wedding which host ten or more persons other than the bride, bridegroom, official witness and the marriage officer; (d) a banquet, ball or reception; (e) a social event; (f) a beach picnic; (g) a river party;
(h) a funeral, except ten members of the immediate family and at least one officiant and essential mortuary staff; or (i) a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organization.’
St Lucia Times was informed that those held in the mass arrests were cautioned and released.
One irate citizen described the group as ‘Covidiots’, a term that was coined to describe persons who do not take the COVID-19 global pandemic seriously.
“Send them to do community service on farms in Saint Lucia after 14 days of mandatory quarantine,” the citizen asserted, adding that the problem is that no one knows if anyone in the river lime group is infected with the virus.