Protest suspended due to organiser’s failure to ensure epidemic-control measures
The Director of the Health Bureau has requested suspension of a protest planned for today, due to the organiser failing to ensure there would be implementation during the event, of necessary epidemic-control measures.
The Health Bureau made the decision on the suspension after taking into account the unpredictability and uncertainty in relation to the number of people that could potentially attend the event. The organiser claimed initially the estimate for attendees was 150, updating the number to 500 later.
In a meeting on Saturday (27 March) with the proposed protest’s organiser and with officials from the Health Bureau and the Public Security Police Force, the Director of the Health Bureau decided to request the suspension of the event, based on the power vested in the authorities by the Law on the Prevention, Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, and decree-law No. 81/99/M. Non-compliance by any individual with the suspension requirement might amount to an offence on their part.
Regarding the Health Bureau’s previous guidance on five requests regarding epidemic control, during Saturday’s meeting the organiser said that: 1) although he declared there might be 500 participants, he was not able to give a definitive number, as he could not prevent people from joining the event; 2) he could not make sure individuals with a fever would be excluded from participating; 3) he could ensure those taking part would each wear a protective face mask; 4) he could not make sure – and could only urge – participants to stay a metre apart during the event; and 5) he could not ensure onlookers would not gather and had expressed hope that if that happened, the police could help.