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Government quarantine facilities are not like being in jail, tourism minister Charles Fernandez told an online discussion held this morning by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.

In fact, he claimed, some people staying at the Hawksbill Hotel had been told they could leave if they paid for a Covid-19 test – only to reply that they were loving the resort and were happy to be there.

“You are limited to your room but all your meals are provided by the resort, you are on one of the most beautiful beaches with all the vitamin D in the world and the sea is right there,” Fernandez said.

He explained that returning nationals must be quarantined for up to 14 days, while tourists are only required to quarantine if they test positive.

To date, not a single visitor has tested positive for the virus, Fernandez said.

If they do and are asymptomatic, the hotel has rooms set aside to isolate them. If they show symptoms and are deemed by a doctor to need the assistance of the new Infectious Diseases Control Centre, then they will be taken there.

The minister added that “everything is in place to mitigate against any further spread of Covid-19” – including scrupulous protocols for Hawksbill staff which include daily laundering of uniforms and temperature checks.

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