As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the government is putting in place stiffer measures to protect the general population from the spread of the virus.
All returning nationals must quarantine for the mandatory 14 days at the government-controlled facility at Jolly Harbour.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in making the announcement, said the contact tracing team has confirmed a widely held suspicion that returning nationals pose a significant threat to the nation regarding the spread of the virus.
“All returning nationals must stay at Jolly Beach hotel and pay the fee of eighty dollars per day and this is a policy from which we will not compromise,” PM Browne stated emphatically during his Saturday afternoon radio programme.
According to the Prime Minister, this policy was announced several months ago and there was a fair amount of public ‘push back’ and in an effort to appease the community the decision was shelved. However, this time the measure is going ahead “in order to protect the population.”
“We have warned our citizens and residents not to expose themselves to returning nationals who take up residence with them and to ensure that they fully complete the mandatory quarantine period. Unfortunately, many did not heed the advice and today we are paying the price,” he explained.
PM Browne revealed that over the Christmas holidays there were about twelve hundred returning nationals who were in the country and who were asked to quarantine. Many of these persons are said to have flouted the regulations and were seen at several social events that ended being the source of several infections.
“There were a few funerals and some returning nationals gave the authorities at the airport false information regarding where they planned to stay in an effort to beat the system. However, through the work of the contact tracers, several outbreaks have been traced to funerals and at least one wedding. Family members did not complete the quarantine period thus leading to several family members becoming infected and who work at a number of institutions in the country,” he reported.
According to PM Browne, the sad fact is that family members have been spreading the virus amongst their own families, causing sickness and anxiety. He encouraged those who have returning nationals in their households to ensure that proper protocols are followed and to report any deviation in the observance of the quarantine to the authorities.
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