BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 19th March 2020)- A total of forty (40) patrons who recently hung out at a bar on Nevis have found themselves in quarantine after overseas visitors to the island broke the rule of vacationing in place found in the COVID-19 Act.
“We again use this incident to highlight the importance of adhering to all COVID-19 protocols when attending public events. It is also important to highlight the importance of establishments particularly bars and restaurants to record the names of patrons entering the premises to assist health authorities with any contact tracing investigation if that becomes necessary, “stated Superintendent Cromwell Henry at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) COVID-19 Briefing held on Wednesday 17th March 2021.
In giving details, he informed that the “police on Nevis responded to reports of two security breaches at a resort there on March 12th and 13th. Between March 7th and 11th, a group of eight (8) US nationals arrived in the Federation and travelled to Nevis where they stayed at a resort there. Their condition of stay at the resort was vacation in place.”
Cromwell told that the COVID-19 act defines vacation in place “as quarantine at a hotel or other accommodation with access to approved package of services in the context of COVID-19.”
According to him, the first occurred just after 1pm on March 12th when two of the guests from the group left the hotel’s compound and ventured into an establishment in Charlestown.
“They were identified and detained and the police were called. A second breach occurred between 1AM and 2AM on March 13th when a group of six guests from the same group left the hotel compound to visit a nearby bar where they socialized with patrons before returning to the hotel. This breach was also reported to the police who commenced an investigation,” he highlighted.
Cromwell went on to say that all eight guests were moved to a government quarantine facility at Pot Works to continue their quarantine and that the “Ministry of Health in Nevis conducted an aggressive contact tracing exercise which resulted in approximately 40 persons from the bar being quarantined for fourteen (14) days.”
As relayed, the eight US nationals were arrested and formally charged for breaching their quarantine condition and were this morning taken before the Charlestown Magistrate Court via a virtual hearing to answer the charges
“They plead guilty and they were each convicted and fined four thousand dollars to be paid forthwith or serve six months in prison. They remained at their quarantine facility at Pot Works while arrangement for payment of the fines is made after which they would be allowed to leave the Federation. Their COVID-19 test so far have returned negative results,” the police official said.
Members of the public are being urged that “In addition to the wearing of masks, hand sanitizing and physical distancing, you can further reduce your risk of contracting the coronavirus disease by taking the vaccine.”