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Chief Executive Officer at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Charlton McFarlane, says the agency’s team is tightening health and safety measures.

The intensified effort comes in light of an employee testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. McFarlane said the most recent measure implemented is the passport presentation requirement for overseas clients visiting RGD offices islandwide.

“We have a lot of customers who would have recently come in from overseas, and it is those customers primarily that we would have major concerns with. These are customers who tend to request our Registry Wedding Product. Once we ascertain that you have come from abroad, we need to see the date you landed on the island,” he said.

Mr. McFarlane emphasised that the date-checking procedure is a safeguard against persons who choose to breach the Government’s stipulated protocol of 14 days quarantine for visitors to the island.

Persons identified to have breached his or her quarantine will be denied service, required to leave the location, and they will be reported to the relevant authorities for follow-up action.

“If they do not have the proof, then we will not be able to provide services. Once they are coming in from abroad they must present their passport. We are not asking necessarily for anything from the Ministry of Health and Wellness. If they have that, that would be good and we would not turn it back, but what we are trying to ensure is that persons would have at least spent the mandatory 14 days before coming into our office,” Mr. McFarlane explained.

In addition to implementing measures that reduce the spread of the virus through clients, internally work continues to secure personal responsibility among staff.

“We have also tightened up on our communication as well as enforcing mask wearing. Persons cannot enter their departments without wearing masks. We have bought masks for our staff and we already completed retrofitting each branch islandwide with partitions and barriers. Persons are also sitting no less than six feet apart from each other,” Mr. McFarlane pointed out.

Meanwhile, the RGD Head Office at Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, has been reopened for business, following deep cleaning and sanitisation work done on Saturday, August 22.

Mr. McFarlane said the member of staff who contracted the virus was last at the office on August 10.

“Today would have been day number 14 since any exposure at all. So far, two persons have come up in contact tracing. The Ministry of Health and Wellness informed us that those persons are low-risk, so they don’t need to be quarantined or tested, but out of an abundance of caution, we have sent those persons for testing,” he said.

The Department continues to urge customers to use the online platform to access products and services where applicable. Persons can visit the Registrar General’s Department website at rgd.gov.jm.

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