By Orville Williams
Since the policy shift from strict government quarantine for unvaccinated people to “self-quarantine” at approved bio-secure facilities, word from the government is that there haven’t been any reported breaches in that regard.
Last week’s post-Cabinet report confirmed that the use of the Jolly Beach Resort as the government’s quarantine centre and isolation unit would end on July 31, with unvaccinated nationals and returning residents required to check into the bio-secure spaces – hotels, Airbnbs and guest houses approved by the Central Board of Health (CBH) – at their own expense.
The government had actually agreed on the change in policy since the previous week, urging residents to avoid the unnecessary cost and get the free vaccines and announcing the imminent return of the Jolly Beach Resort to the stayover tourism market.
Concerns were raised about adherence to the new policy, especially as the previous allowances for home quarantine had resulted in numerous breaches by returning residents.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas assured that personnel would be assigned to the various bio-secure locations across the island to enforce the rules, adding that the tracking bracelets would also form part of the monitoring.
He told yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing that, so far, things appear to be running smoothly.
“We hadn’t had a report from any health officials [on Wednesday] as to any breaches in that particular respect.
“We did not necessarily surveil that particular level, [but] I do not have any information to indicate that there have been any breaches in that respect,” Nicholas said.
While that is certainly good news, it remains to be seen just how much longer the regime will stay in place, given the ever-increasing travel figures that could render monitoring a real headache, as well as the lingering threat of the dangerous Covid-19 Delta variant.