Wristband for quarantine monitoring becomes law

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By Elesha George

[email protected]

The Central Board of Health (CBH) has made amendments to the Public Health Act (Dangerous Infectious Disease) regulation that makes the use of electronic monitoring legal.

The new section gives the Health Authority permission to attach a monitoring device to a person who is required to remain in quarantine.

The regulation came into effect at 11:00 pm on Thursday, September 24, 2020, and is sanctioned by the current state of emergency.

The wristband will be used to monitor whether a person has left the designated quarantine area, as well as the health status of the person.

CBH noted that the device is to be used solely to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus into the community.

All information obtained from the electronic monitoring device will be stored in a secure manner for the duration of the quarantine. The electronic monitoring will be terminated immediately on the expiration of the quarantine period.

The regulation makes it an offence to tamper with the electronic monitoring device. Anyone who does so commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to EC $5,000.

Thursday evening, 400 wristbands were expected to arrive on island so that testing could begin before they are issued for use.

Cabinet Spokesman, Melford Nicholas, said that the government did not believe the device would be a violation of a person’s constitutional right. He said the government is protected by the State of Emergency which ends at the end of October.

While the country remains under a State of Emergency, it has also been made an offence to withhold information on one’s travel history.

According to the regulation, a person who knowingly, willfully, or maliciously provides false information or withholds any relevant information with regards to any question posed by the relevant health authorities in relation to his or her movements or travel history, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand ($5,000.00) dollars or to imprisonment for six (6) months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

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