by Linda Straker
- Several people breached mandatory state quarantine orders
- Significant punishments for breaking state quarantine
- A fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 6 months on summary conviction
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Jessmon Prince, has disclosed that several people who breached quarantine orders after arriving in the country from countries that required mandatory state quarantine, have been charged for violating the Quarantine Act.
“Yes, we do have some breaches and wherever there are breaches people are dealt with and subsequently will be taken to court to answer questions because there are significant punishments for breaking a state quarantine or any form of quarantine once you are assigned to self-quarantine or state quarantine,” Prince told journalists on Wednesday, 26 August during a news conference.
Section 10 of the Quarantine Act states that it shall be the duty of every member of the police force to enforce (using force if necessary) compliance with this Act and with any order, instruction or condition lawfully made, given or imposed by any officer or other person under the authority of this Act; and for such purpose, any member of the police force may board any ship or aircraft and may enter any premises without a warrant.
Section 2 of the legislation which was enacted in 1947, also points out that any member of the police force may arrest without a warrant any person whom he or she has reasonable cause to believe has committed an offence against this Act.
Recently, the Ministry of Health confirmed that several arriving passengers breached the quarantine request, but did not provide a figure. Prince also did not provide the number of people facing charges for those who breached the security at state facilities. “I do not have the number of people who have broken quarantine…Those who have broken quarantine have been charged and will be appearing in court.”
The quarantine legislation states that a person who:
(a) refuses to answer or knowingly gives an untrue answer to any inquiry made under the authority of this Act, or intentionally withholds any information reasonably required of him or her by any officer or other person acting under the authority of this Act, or knowingly furnishes to any such officer or other person any information which is false;
(b) refuses or wilfully omits to do any act which he or she is required to do by this Act, or refuses or wilfully omits to carry out any lawful order, instruction or condition made, given or imposed by any officer or other person acting under the authority of this Act; or
(c) assaults, resists, wilfully obstructs, or intimidates any officer or other person acting under the authority of this Act, or offers or gives a bribe to any officer or person in connection with his or her powers or duties under this Act, or being such officer or person, demands, solicits or takes a bribe in connection with his or her powers or duties under this Act, or otherwise obstructs the execution of this Act, shall be guilty of an offence.
A person who is guilty of any other offence against the quarantine act shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of $10,000, and to imprisonment for 6 months.
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