Wayne Walker reports

The management of Mocha Fest and one of the owner’s of Rick’s Cafe are expected to face prosecution for hosting an event that breached COVID-19 protocols at Rick’s Cafe yesterday.

Several tourism stakeholders have also launched investigations into the event.

The mid-week event has gone viral on social media showing hundreds of maskless patrons partying at the Negril-based establishment.

There’s been outrage from many Jamaicans about the staging of the event.

The event was listed on the Jamaica Tourist Board’s website which led many to direct their outrage at the entity.

However, in a release issued this morning, the Board denied endorsing the event.

The JTB admitted that the event was endorsed by JTB in past years.

But it says the Board didn’t supported Mocha Fest this year.

The JTB explained that its website typically sets events years in advance to allow pre-planning for visitors.

The Board says it was an oversight on their part that the events section remained on their website during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Head of the Westmoreland Police, Superintendent Robert Gordon says they were unaware of the event.

He says a member of the event’s management team has been warned for prosecution.

Superintendent Gordon says at least one of the owners of Rick’s Cafe will be prosecuted.

In the meantime. Twitter followers are expressing outrage at the staging of the event.

Ingrid Riley says “The fake outrage. Promise of investigations. The hyprocrisy is glaring. Hundred of people fly in, picked up by tour buses, taken to hotels and Rick’s Cafe is FULL and Tourism officials pretend not to know about an event listed on its website?”

And, Shawn Wenzel says, “Rick’s Cafe needs to get the same treatment that was meted out to Reggae Mill at Devon House in July when they hosted an illegal party: shut the place down and arrest the owner! There should not be a double standard here, either we are enforcing the DRMA or we are not!”