Changes are coming to the way the government operates its quarantine centres. In the past, people required to quarantine in government centres were provided with three meals per day at the expense of the government. This arrangement is coming to an end.
Government spokesman, Melford Nicholas, said the government will soon charge persons required to stay at these facilities $100.00 per day. This comes on the heels of the announcement that the Halcyon Hotel, which has served as the government’s quarantine centre for the past three months, will begin renovations shortly and must be vacated.
The government has since decided that it will use the Jolly Beach Hotel, which is closed, as its new quarantine facility. As part of the new policy changes, Nicholas said greater emphasis will be placed on having people quarantine in government operated facilities instead of at their homes.
“You would notice from the dashboard that we now have more people quarantining at home rather than at a government facility. This changed from what it was in the beginning when there [were] more people in the centre and not at home. When we announced the regime in the first instances we stated that we wanted people to pay $100 to pay for their meals. There was a push-back to that so the government relented. Providing free meals has cost the government over two million dollars and we cannot carry the cost any longer,” he declared.
This new policy will largely affect nationals returning from abroad who must stay in the quarantine facility as the government moves to strengthen the management of this process. As part of the quarantine process, individuals will also be required to wear a bracelet that will monitor their movements to ensure compliance.
The bracelets are programmed to sound an alarm at the Command Center whenever a person wearing the device breaches defined perimeters. According to the Cabinet, as the number of people arriving in the country increases, so will the need for people to be quarantined. This in turn will result in the need for improved ways of ensuring compliance with the terms of a 14 day quarantine.
“The object is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within the communities principally where family members of the visitors reside. The largest threat of contagion faced by the nation has come from returning nationals who disobey quarantine conditions and who then mingle with friends and family members before the 14 day quarantine period has ended,” Minister Nicholas stated. — PointeXpress
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