Persons found to be in breach of the Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols, particularly those placed on home quarantine, are to be charged shortly.
This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who informed that 50 cases of breaches are now under investigation and nearing completion, “and we can expect the first set of charges within the next couple of days”.
Mr. Holness, who was making a statement to Parliament on Tuesday (July 28), lamented that the country’s “greatest risk now arises from the significant number of persons in home quarantine, or who have been placed on home quarantine”.
“I am concerned that a number of persons are not strictly observing the home quarantine Orders, and I have asked the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to exercise greater vigilance and charge persons who are found to be in breach,” he said.
Mr. Holness reminded that all the success the country has had thus far, can be undone by just one “super spreader”, as has been the case in many other countries.
The Prime Minister said it has been observed that returning Jamaicans, especially, are not observing the quarantine rules.
“They’re moving about and we’re seeing the pictures on Facebook and Instagram. So, unless you can prove to us that those pictures were taken two or three years ago, they become very good evidence for prosecution,” he argued.
Mr. Holness noted that these returning residents are coming back to Jamaica from jurisdictions that are not enforcing the necessary COVID-19 measures, such as wearing masks, social /physical distancing and observing the quarantine Orders, “but we cannot take the risk because we know our healthcare system would struggle to deal with any serious spike in severe cases”.
“Those persons who are coming to Jamaica… to look for family, go to funerals, plan it so that you have 14 clear days to stay in quarantine before they can do these events,” the Prime Minister advised.
“We will increase our prosecution of persons who are not observing the quarantine, and I think that this would be fair notice,” Mr. Holness warned.
The Government has issued 20,126 home quarantine Orders to date.