Police were called to two noisy 21st birthday parties this weekend, as the reality of new social distancing rules sink in.
They warn there will be an impact on funerals, too.
The Prime Minister last week banned all gatherings of more than 10 people, to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission, and limited alcohol sales to 9am-4pm.
But despite that, police say they were called to a noisy drinking party in Nikao on Friday night, and then four more noisy gatherings on Saturday night, in Pue, Tupapa, Kavera, and Takuvaine. Those attending were issued warnings.
Two were 21st birthday parties.
“If this behaviour persists, Police will fight for tougher measures,” said spokesperson Trevor Pitt.
Police Commissioner Maara Tetava has been pushing for limits on alcohol sales, similar to the duty-free limits, and a ban on convenience stores selling alcohol.
“It is the unnecessary risks and pressure placed on our frontline agencies that is the concern. People not listening to the messages and requests will just drive the Police to insist on something tougher.
We will need to make those recommendations to the National Health Emergency Taskforce and insist on the appropriate Ministerial Order.
“It’s in the country’s interest that we all pull in the same direction with changing our behaviour, inconvenient though it might be. Our safety depends on it.
“Last night involved a couple of 21sts so it’s affecting a lot of our usual celebratory carry on for sure, not to mention funerals should they occur.”
One man was arrested last night after being stopped and testing at more than three-times the drink-drive limit. He will appear in court this week, also charged with driving while disqualified.