Saint Lucia has taken ‘swift action’ to put home quarantine violators into institutional quarantine.
The disclosure came Tuesday from Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee.
He said five different quarantine locations are in use with a total of 350 rooms.
“We are quarantining individuals as they have come in,” Fedee told reporters.
“We did have to, in a very measured way, resort to some home quarantining because of the fact that our quarantine space was overwhelmed,” the Minister explained.
He revealed that as a result, over 100 individuals were in home quarantine.
However Fedee indicated that the authorities were disappointed because there was not a high level of compliance from those persons.
He said banks and other establishments reported that those individuals had breached the home quarantine.
“We have taken very swift action to ensure that those individuals were placed in institutional quarantine,” Fedee declared.
He appealed to returning nationals who are placed in home quarantine to cooperate and be patient, abiding by the promise they make to medical professionals.
He revealed that there were three incidents of tourists violating COVID-19 protocols that require them to stay at their resorts unless being on a managed excursion or tour.
“We have had over 1200 tourists who have come in, so for the most part I would like to say we have seen a very high rate of compliance from the tourists,” Fedee told reporters.
Nevertheless the Tourism Minister asserted that three incidents were cause for alarm.
He recalled that there was an emergency meeting after the first breach where it was made very clear to hotels that they had no choice but to ensure that tourists adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.
He said some reports relating to COVID-19 breaches were not always accurate.
But Fedee told reporters that hotels have beefed up security and communication with the police, with some properties hiring police officers and former police officers to upgrade security.
“There was one tourist who was seen in public and despite the many efforts to caution her, we are aware that the law enforcement officers had to take the bull by the horns and actually place that individual in institutional quarantine.”
Fedee said she was subsequently repatriated.
However, the minister declined to be drawn into naming the visitor’s country of origin, telling reporters he did not want to get into ‘ all the specifics’.