Saint Lucia has announced new COVID-19 home quarantine restrictions amidst several reports of non-compliance.
“Over the last few months, people who have been granted home quarantine have not been adhering to the protocols,” Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George disclosed in a statement Wednesday.
She announced that anyone found in breach of home quarantine will be immediately taken to government quarantine to complete the time.
According to the Chief Medical Officer, under the Quarantine Act, police officers have the duty to enforce compliance.
She disclosed that they may arrest without a warrant any person they have reasonable cause to believe to have committed any offence.
Belmar-George revealed that the names of all persons in home quarantine are forwarded to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to assist with compliance.
“The public is asked to cooperate and encourage family members and friends who have returned from overseas and are presently in quarantine to remain at home for the 14 day duration,” she stated.
The CMO called on members of the public to alert the nearest police station or the Ministry of Health about anyone who breaches home quarantine guidelines.
Saint Lucia received its first international flight on Thursday, July 9, 2020, since the border closure in March 2020.
Belmar -George explained that quarantine centres have been set up here using various hotels to facilitate the large numbers of returning nationals and any non -nationals that may arrive of concern.
She noted that this has proved to be an important measure in containing COVID-19 on island.
But Belmar-George warned that failure to adhere to quarantine regulations can have serious implications for disease containment.
She said the main policy for passengers returning to Saint Lucia outside of the Caribbean Bubble is Institutional Quarantine.
After assessments, some passengers qualify for home quarantine if they meet certain conditions and their home meets the criteria, Belmar-George explained.
She pointed out that According to the Quarantine Act, the Quarantine Authority is the Chief Medical Officer.
“The Quarantine Authority has the power to decide and govern quarantine facilities and indicate the persons or things that are detained for observation or isolation,” Belmar-George stated.
She said when any place is in use for isolation purposes, a person may not enter or leave except with the general or specific permission of the Quarantine Authority. .