Thirteen new Covid ambassadors were trained in Eleuthera during a two-day session on Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th, 2020, via live zoom presentations by facilitators in New Providence. The group, whose responsibilities include the enforcement of current Covid-19 regulations – through the dissemination of tickets to members of the public for infractions – were hosted at the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Headquarters in Governor’s Harbour.
The newly trained ambassadors were posted throughout the north, central and south Eleuthera districts by Tuesday, December 1st, according to Officer In Charge of The Eleutheras, Chief Superintendent Stephen Adderley. The new Covid ambassadors, he said, are all local people, selected from each community to play a part in the enforcement of Covid regulations within their various communities – and ensure that people are adhering to those regulations.
Vehicles specifically for this initiative arrived on island during late October, informed the Ch/Supt., saying, “The Prime Minister in his speech during October spoke about Covid ambassadors, and the first installment of ambassadors were selected and trained in Nassau for New Providence, and now they are effectively doing their job. Eleuthera was promised likewise, so the last installment of vehicles [for Eleuthera] were received on Oct 29th, 2020. We now have three vehicles, and those vehicles will be distributed with one being in the north, the other in the central area, and another in the south.”
Providing further detail on how ambassadors will operate on the island, Ch/Supt. Adderley explained, “Covid ambassadors will be guided by a particular officer who is assigned to them. The vehicles are marked with ‘Covid ambassador’, so the ambassadors will be a part of the enforcement team. They are assigned to assist with enforcing the Covid-19 regulations, which include monitoring if businesses have proper physical distancing space markings, proper sanitizing stations, proper mask wearing, and the like.
“They will be allowed to give out tickets to persons who offend, and they will be enforcing quarantine rules and regulations. So, those persons that are supposed to be quarantined – ambassadors will pay periodical visits to ensure they are keeping within their quarantine mandate, and if not – they can be fined. They can also be charged [by Police] and made to appear before the court.”
To be really clear, Adderley emphasized, “Covid ambassadors are civilian personnel working in partnership with police officers, assigned to them – for the enforcement aspect of it. Current emergency orders allow them to give out tickets for infractions of the Covid-19 regulations [not make an arrest].”