The news comes as the territory has so far confirmed 9 new imported cases of the virus as of December 15, 2020, since the December 1, 2020, tourism re-opening; bringing the total positive cases in the Virgin Islands to 83, with 73 recoveries and 1 death to date.
According to Hon Malone, speaking at the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) held at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola, on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, said: “We have some folks who are just… they would not adhere to the quarantine protocols so, as I mentioned before, we are going to seek to raise it [penalties] to $5000, but I got to get the nod from the Premier and then from Cabinet if we can’t move it to $10,000."
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie said that while the VI knew there would be increased risks with the open of borders, safety nets are in place and so fat, there is no evidence of community spread of the virus from the rogue individuals.
Hon Malone continued, “Because it will cost us in order for us to continue to contact trace and to do all of what we need to put in place… so then persons will know that we are serious about this,” he said.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said that while Government knew there would be increased risks with the opening of the borders, safety nets are in place and so far there is no evidence of community spread of the virus from the rogue individuals.
“It’s not good to know one of them left the quarantine area and went somewhere, but the good part so far… is that of the 16 persons that have been contact traced… all of them come out to have been negative,” he said.
Hon Fahie indicated that that with just a few more persons left to locate, the hope is that they all test negative for the virus and thus, preserve the health and safety of those in the territory.
According to Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL), he is seeking to increase the fine for breaching quarantine to $10,000.
Currently, according to the gazetted regulations, “A person who tampers with or damages a geofencing device [tracking bracelet], shall be issued a fixed penalty notice by the relevant authorised officer and be required to pay a fine of one hundred and twenty-five dollars ($150).”
The fine is set to up to $1000 for those who contravene other protocols or guidelines of the COVID-19 regulations, such as breaking quarantine, which the administration is seeking to raise to $10,000.
If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.