The Government of Montserrat, as part of the continued phased reopening of the island’s borders, has updated its regulations to allow entry to fully vaccinated visitors for a period of 90 days.
This update, is among new regulations which will take effect on Friday Oct. 1 at 5 a.m. when the PUBLIC HEALTH (COVID-19 SUPPRESSION) (No. 11) ORDER (S.R.O. 61 of 2021) comes into force.
Individuals are considered ‘fully vaccinated’ 14-days after receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, or 14 days after receipt of one dose in a single dose COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to the fully vaccinated visitors, the ‘Allowed To Enter’ category also makes provisions for the grandchild of a deceased person to enter Montserrat to attend the funeral and for other purposes related to the death. In the current S.R.O this category only includes the parent, child and sibling of a deceased person.
The previously implemented Pre-Entry requirements—negative COVID-19 Test taken no earlier than five-days prior to entry, and the completion and submission of the online travel declaration form no later than three days prior to travelling to Montserrat, are still required.
As of Oct. 1 children five years and over will be required to be tested (PCR or RNA) no earlier than five days prior to entry into Montserrat. Therefore, a child under five years of age is not required to be tested for COVID-19 for entry into Montserrat.
Additionally, children over two years of age in self-quarantine will be required to take a PCR or RNA COVID-19 TEST before the quarantine period expires, and therefore must be tested on the same day as the adult who accompanied him/her to Montserrat. This testing requirement does not apply to a child two years and under.
COVID-19 Test For Pilots
The new S.R.O also introduces guidelines for unvaccinated Pilots. It stipulates that a pilot who is not fully vaccinated and who navigates a flight into Montserrat on a habitual basis shall take a PCR COVID-19 Test or RNA COVID-19 Test every 14 days.
Other amendments which will take effect on October 1 include the introduction of mandatory hand hygiene stations at the entrance of public buildings; an increase in the number of persons allowed to gather in public places; a reduction in the social distancing requirements for operations in the Banks and at the Cultural Centre, and a signage requirement for bus drivers and taxi operators.
Mandatory Hand Hygiene Station
A hand hygiene station, as classified by the Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) Order, includes a station that has a handwashing soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub. The Order stipulates that a hand hygiene station shall be placed at the entrance of every public building (including schools and healthcare facilities) or a private commercial building. The owner or manager must:
(a) place or cause to be placed a hand hygiene station in a visible place at the main entrance of the business;
(b) mandate that a visitor, staff or employee use the hand hygiene station before passing the threshold of the entrance of the building;
(c) ensure that the quantity and usability of the hand hygiene station is adapted to the type (e.g. young children, elderly, those with limited mobility) and number of users that frequent or work in the building; and
(d) ensure regular refilling of containers and regular refilling and maintenance of the equipment at the hand hygiene station.
Failure to comply with the hand hygiene station requirement is an offence, and the owner or manager of the building will be liable to a fine of $500, and if a second or subsequent offence is committed a fine of $1000.00
Public Gatherings & Social Distancing
The number of persons allowed to gather in public places will be increased from 50 to 75. The 75-person limit on large gatherings does not apply to the airport and port for embarking and disembarking passengers; a sitting of the High Court; a school; a church or other religious establishment, and at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.
The social distancing requirements for operations in a banking business and at the Montserrat Cultural Centre will be reduced to three feet between all persons who are not members of the same household. As it relates to other places, individuals must maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between all persons who are not members of the same household.
As it relates to the operations of a banking business, the manager of the business shall:
(a) establish measures that ensure customers and staff maintain a physical distance of at least three feet from another person both inside and outside the banking business;
(b) determine the number of persons that may be permitted to enter the banking business at any one time by permitting one person for every nine square feet of floor space;
(c) place distance markers three feet apart, inside the banking business to indicate where each customer must stand in a queue; and
(d) place distance markers three feet apart, outside of the banking business to indicate where a customer must stand while waiting to enter the banking business.
Operations of bus drivers and taxi operators
In addition to the previously established guideline, the order introduces a new regulation, for bus drivers and taxi operators. A bus driver or taxi operator is required to display the logo “Montserrat Service Ready” in a visible place on the bus or taxi.
The wearing of a face-covering/mask is still required in public places.
SRO 61 of 2021 will expire on Nov. 30 at 5 a.m. All other regulations announced under the previous order remain in place.