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May 6, 2020

The Keyword is ‘Household”

The state of emergency remains in full force throughout the months of May and June. Every week there is an update from the police on the number of persons who are arrested for curfew violations. But what happens when the police misinterprets the law? In this case, we are talking about persons travelling on motorcycles. Both the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police agree that two persons from the same household can ride together once they wear masks and of course helmets. But as News Five’s Hipolito Novelo found out, on the ground, some police officers have not received that memo.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The key word is “household.” An according the S.O.E. regulations, two persons from the same household are allowed to be on a motorcycle and must be wearing face masks.

This was made clear by none other than the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams in Facebook post. The commissioner said, “two persons from the same household can ride on a motorcycle. Remember the key word there is same household and not work place.”

But there is a misinterpretation of that keyword. At one checkpoint, an officer admitted that he was not aware what his boss had said. This morning at the checkpoint near the Lord Ridge Cemetery an officer had a different interpretation of the word “household”. The definition of the word is a group of people living under the same roof or in the same dwelling. The officer believes that the word “household” strictly meant family, as in blood relatives. Not so. A household is a group of people who live together. We have received several complaints from motorists of officers misinterpreting what the Commissioner of Police stated and what the Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte clarified during Ask the Experts on Monday:


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“We made an exception for people who ride motorcycles. If you are from the same household and two people are on the motorcycle with a mask on you will be able to do it. But if you are two strangers you can’t ride on the motorcycle. You ‘bally’ who live up the street just jump, no, that is not allowed. It can only be two people from the same household.”


Again, the operative word is ‘household’- a group of people living together. They don’t have to be relatives, or family, but simply living under the same roof, in the same dwelling. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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