Quarantine site owners to be fined for new breaches

The owners of properties that the Government has contracted to become temporary quarantine sites for returning citizens will be fined if there are any further breaches of quarantine orders. 

Ministry of Health Assistant Chief Executive Officer [Public Health], Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thomsen, revealed the new policy during the Health of the Nation Program last Friday when discussing the COVID-19 global pandemic quarantine policy that is currently in effect in Samoa.

He said any kind of breaches of orders imposed at quarantine sites will fall back on the owners of the quarantine sites, which could see them being fined.

“Everyone is well aware of the mandatory conditions placed for passengers in quarantine according to Section 10 [of the orders] which bans people from exchanging packages with those in quarantine,” he said.

“It has been set under the Orders 19, the conditions for the punishments for those [breaching the orders] and the Cabinet has also agreed as proven in the Cabinet directive [FK].

“Also under this new directive, not only the people exchanging the packages will be fined but also the security guards whom we’ve given trust in securing the general safety as well as [fining] the hotels.”

The new orders are parts of 19 emergency orders, according to Tagaloa.

The Police will also play their part in overseeing these investigations and punishments.

The Cabinet directive is the result of an increase in misconduct amongst returning citizens, who tried to give alcohol to their relatives while they were in quarantine.

According to Tagaloa, a beer was found hidden amongst a package which was meant to be delivered to a quarantined passenger. 

All packages that are delivered to those in quarantine are thoroughly checked by health workers at the old maternity ward at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital. Packages to be delivered from those in quarantine are not allowed.

“Bring them to our centre at the old maternity ward at Motootua and the health workers will deliver them to each site where your relatives are quarantined,” Tagaloa emphasised.

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