The Royal Yacht's Hotel manager has criticised what he's called the vilification of certain venues and people on social media - after news that a private event held there last month led to a spike in coronavirus cases.
Alcino Vieira insists his staff, along with the 20 people who attended, strictly adhered to government guidelines.
In a statement, he says they hosted a private dinner event which had a sanitising station and separate toilets available - with staff wearing masks, and maintaining distancing.
"There were no bar or dance floor facilities in the room and only background music was played.
"On Sunday 22nd November 2020, two days later, one of the guests tested positive for COVID-19. The Royal Yacht were able to provide all of the detailed contact data to the Track and Trace team, enabling them to make the necessary contacts as quickly as possible. Through the track and trace system, a staff member was also contacted, tested and went into self-isolation. This member of staff has since received two negative test results.
"The Royal Yacht consistently collects and maintains contact details regarding visiting guests and will always fully co-operate with the Track and Trace and Health teams whenever required to do so. The Royal Yacht strictly follows all current guidance and legislation and works closely with the relevant Government teams to ensure that we operate within all the required parameters.
"In this way the hospitality industry continues to provide valuable information enabling the Track and Trace team to identify potential clusters and thereby helping to prevent any further spread within the community.
"We are aware of a number of other significant clusters that have occurred throughout November in both the hospitality and the non-hospitality sectors, with this in mind we find it difficult to understand why the Royal Yacht has been singled out by some members of the press. We are concerned that the reaction to this particular cluster, and the vilification of certain venues and individuals in the media and on social media may deter others from taking the correct course of action and thereby undermining the viability and the effectiveness of the systems in place. Whilst there may be a number of persons isolating, it is reassuring to know that the systems in place are effective.
"The Royal Yacht will continue to strive to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all of our guests. We would like to thank all our dedicated team and our valued and loyal customers for their support at this difficult time.
"We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the track and trace team for their efforts on a daily basis to control and assist in these situations."
In a press conference held last night, the Chief Minister said the spike in cases could not be pinpointed to one venue or incident - as they are aware of several incidents of people gathering in the likes of homes, pubs, and restaurants.