British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

OPINION: Time to jail those who break out of quarantine

OPINION: Time to jail those who break out of quarantine

I am not writing to bash the government for its handling of the economy during this era of COVID-19. In fact, I’m quite proud of how they are handling the situation and keeping us safe so far. We are truly blessed to have one of the lowest COVID-19 numbers in the world.
But it seems like we need to start jailing people who break our quarantine protocols.

Last week we heard that a visitor infected with COVID-19 casually walked out of quarantine and mingled with members of the community. This week, the public is in a frenzy because we are hearing that a citizen of the Dominican Republic dashed out of quarantine and is now in the community as a possibly-infected fugitive.

It can’t work meh son!

We can’t allow people to take us lightly. We are peaceful people but we are not pushovers. We are almost COVID-19 free not because we have a rare gene that fights off the disease but because we are paying a high economic price for it. People who come here need to respect that! If they can’t then we should put them in jail. It’s that simple.

We have to make them respect us.

I believe the government should go back into their boardroom, close the door, and add some jail time to the list of penalties for breaching our quarantine protocols. I understand that the fines were recently increased under the COVID-19 Control & Suppression (Entry of Persons) Regulations. The greatest penalty is now $10,000. It’s just not enough.

Look at what Cayman did to the US citizen who left quarantine? She and her boyfriend are spending some vacation time in jail over there. As early as March, Russia added some jail time to its penalty list. They have a seven-year prison sentence if anyone with COVID-19 breaks out of quarantine and others die as a result.

I’m not saying we should take it that far but we need to take it further than a $10,000 fine.

Yours Sincerely,
Virgin Islands Stakeholder
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