Authorities to get tough with persons who break quarantine
DR RALPH GONSALVES, prime minister
March 27, 2020

Authorities to get tough with persons who break quarantine

ANY PERSON who breaks voluntary quarantine in relation to Covid-19 will be taken to court and compulsorily quarantined under guard by the police.

In an address to the nation on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the government is being firm on those who break voluntary quarantine as the authorities work to ensure citizen security amidst Covid-19.

“Whenever a person acts irresponsibly in this regard, he or she is taken to the law courts and compulsorily quarantined with a specific legal sanction and under the security of the police.”

Voluntary quarantine in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has been ordered for travellers who arrive here from China, Iran, South Korea, the USA, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, the European Union, including Italy and the Overseas Departments of France (Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, French Guiana) and Canada.

Gonsalves said that quarantine orders in this regard have been obtained from the law courts, with four being obtained as recently as Wednesday.

“If you are quarantined, you stay in quarantine, this is a serious matter,” stated Gonsalves who added that several Caribbean countries have decided to have total shutdowns, partial shutdowns, a declaration of an entire country as a disaster area, and declarations of states of emergency.

“Some other Caribbean countries have adopted the broad approach of incremental measures for lower risks, accelerated measures for more heightened risks, as we have done in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in accordance with all the circumstances,” Gonsalves said.

He however said the government is ready to adopt the most extreme measures legally permissible if needed in what he considers the shifting maze of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, a release from the Cabinet of Ministers said that all travellers who arrive in SVG having been in Canada within the last 14 days, will be required to be quarantined for a period of 14 days.

“The general public is reminded that quarantine is mandatory in such cases. Individuals who are directed to self-quarantine must remain in their homes/accommodations at all times during the 14-day quarantine period,” the release said.