The Teshie and Kaneshie Divisional Police commands last Sunday shut down seven pubs for allegedly operating in contravention of the COVID-19 safety protocols during the Valentine’s Day celebrations.
The managers of the pubs and bars were accused of harbouring large crowds of people who were partying in celebration of Valentine’s Day without recourse to the safety protocols.
The bars include Point Five at Cold Store; Korr Bridge, Stanford Bridge, Tebibiano; Pablo at Anomantu and Yewo Around behind the Gonnor School, all in Teshie.
The COVE 117 located on the SSNIT compound, near the New Times Corporation and within the jurisdiction of the Kaneshie Divisional Police was also locked up.
The Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Effia Tenge, who briefed the Daily Graphic, said the bars were closed down last Sunday as patrons were celebrating Valentine's Day.
She said the police operation was part of measures aimed at checking violations of COVID-19 protocols by establishments including pubs, drinking spots and other social entertainment centres.
Last weekend, particularly Sunday, was characteristic of the long-established tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day, marked on February 14 every year, where restaurants, drinking spots and pubs host large numbers of patrons to feasts and parties.
In spite of the restrictions imposed on the citizenry, some restaurants took advantage of the day, which was also marked as part of the National Chocolate Week, to make money.
In his 23rd update on the national efforts to combat COVID-19, President Nana Akufo-Addo had directed that tourist facilities, attractions and local open-air drinking spots could operate under strict observance of the COVID-19 safety protocols, while beaches, bars, cinemas and nightclubs were to remain closed until further notice.
Mrs Tenge said the police operation was also to verify and establish that people were following the rules to socially distance themselves and wear face masks.
The exercises began at about 10 p.m. last Sunday and ended at about 3 a.m. yesterday.
Mrs Tenge said when the police teams visited the drinking bars, some patrons and staff were seen in open disregard of the COVID-19 protocols, adding that some bolted on seeing the police.
She said at about 2:56 a.m. yesterday, the attention of a patrol team from the Kaneshie police was drawn to loud music from a pub called COVE 117 located on the SSNIT compound near the New Times Corporation.
When the team got to the pub, she said it found a group of young men and women numbering about 100 partying and failing to observe the COVID-19 safety protocols.
The police established that a man identified as Bernard Opare had organised the party and invited his friends.
Mr Opare was ,therefore, arrested and currently in the custody of the Kaneshie police, while the owners of all the pubs which had been shut down had been directed to report to the police, she said.