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$25, 000.00 fine or one year in prison for quarantine violators

Health Minister Nickolas Steele

Left embarrassed over the recent incident in which an American doctor and his wife were caught in the act of violating the island’s quarantine regulation and exposed over 38 persons to the deadly coronavirus, the Keith Mitchell government is moving to Parliament to impose stiffer penalities for offenders.

Dr. Tim McKinny and his wife Amy Baxter pleaded guilty before Acting Chief Magistrate Teddy St. Louis last week Wedneday after they were charged under Section 81 of the Quarantine Regulations, for failing to remain at a designated place of quarantine.

The two U.S citizens were fined EC$5000.00 each although the maximum fine is EC$10, 000.00.

Dr. McKinny and his wife arrived in Grenada on November 1 and were approved for home quarantine by the Ministry of Health given his status as a medical professional.

However, they broke quarantine and visited four restaurants in the south of the island while waiting on their Covid-19 PCR tests that were conducted on November 5 and came back positive.

Health officials later confirmed that one person who was exposed to the doctor and his wife tested positive for Covid-19.

THE NEW TODAY has obtained the copy of a bill which government is taking to Parliament to increase the fine from EC$10, 000.00 to $25, 000.00 for quarantine violators and in default of payment to be sent to the Richmond Hill prison for one year.

The bill is also giving sweeping powers to the Minister of Health “to make regulations relating specifically to the response to COVID-19 without the requirement for confirmation by the House of Representatives.

As a public service, the bill is reproduced in the national interest:

QUARANTINE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020

EXPLANATORY NOTES

This Bill seeks to amend the Quarantine Act CAP. 271.

This Bill contains 4 clauses.

Clause 1 provides for the short title.

Clause 2 seeks to amend section 4 of the principal Act to insert a new subsection to empower the Minister to create offences in regulations for non-compliance with the regulations and to set the maximum penalty that may be prescribed for any such offence.

Clause 3 seeks to insert a new section 4A to the principal Act, which confers on the Minister the power to make regulations relating specifically to the response to COVID-19 without the requirement for confirmation by the House of Representatives.

The power exercisable under this new section 4A is comparable to that exercised under section 4 as amended by clause 2. However, regulations made under the new section 4A would be subject to negative resolution of the House of Representatives, as opposed to confirmation by the House of Representatives.

Clause 4 seeks to amend section 7 (2) to increase the maximum penalty from a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 6 months to a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for 1 year.

Darshan Ramdhani
ATTORNEY-GENERAL

QUARANTINE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES

  1. Short title
  2. Amendment of section 4 of principal Act
  3. Insertion of new section 4A to principal Act
  4. Amendment of section 7 of principal Act

QUARANTINE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
GRENADA
ACT NO. OF 2020

AN ACT to amend the Quarantine Act CAP. 271.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Representatives and by the authority of the same as follows—

Short title

  1. This Act may be cited as the

QUARANTINE (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2020,

and shall be read as one with the Quarantine Act, Chapter 271, hereinafter referred to as the “principal Act”.

Amendment of section 4 of principal Act

  1. Section 4 of the principal Act is amended by inserting after subsection (3) the following new subsections
    “(3A) Regulations made under this section may provide for the creation of offences and the imposition by a court of summary jurisdiction of a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both, upon conviction of an offence under the regulations.”.
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Insertion of new section 4A to principal Act

  1. The principal Act is amended by inserting after section 4 the following new section—

“Power to make regulations in response to COVID-19

4A. (1)     Notwithstanding section 4, the Minister may, subject to negative resolution, make regulations, as respects the response to COVID-19 in the whole or any part of Grenada, including the ports and coastal waters thereof, for preventing—

(a)     danger to public health from ships or aircraft or persons or things therein, arriving at any place; and

(b)     the spread of infection by means of any ship or aircraft about to leave any place, or by means of any person or thing about to leave any place in any ship or aircraft.

(2)     Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (1), regulations under that subsection may, for the purposes therein set forth, make provision for all or any of the following matters, that is to say—

(a)     the collection and transmission or epidemiological and sanitary information;

(b)     signals to be displayed by ships or aircraft;

(c)     questions to be answered and information (whether oral or documentary) to be supplied by masters, commanders and other persons who are or have been on board any ship or aircraft or are desirous of boarding any ship or aircraft;

(d)     the detention of ships or aircraft and of persons and things that are or have been on board them;

(e)     the destruction of things which are or have been on board ships or aircraft;

(f)     duties to be performed by masters, commanders and other persons who are or have been on board ships or aircraft or who are desirous of boarding any ship or aircraft;

(g)     authorising the making of charges and providing for the recovery of expenses;

(h)     the enforcement of the regulations;

(i)     the conferment on appropriate officers of powers to board ships and aircraft and to enter premises.

(3)     Regulations made under this section may provide for the creation of offences and the imposition by a court of summary jurisdiction of a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both, upon conviction of an offence under the regulations.

(4)     The Quarantine (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020, SRO No. 58 of 2020 shall be deemed to have been made under the provisions of this section and may be amended and repealed accordingly.

(5)     In this section, “COVID-19” means the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov), which is an infectious disease caused by a virus which, having emerged during 2019, was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation on the 11th March, 2020.”.

Amendment of section 7 of principal Act

  1. Section 7 of the principal Act is amended in subsection (2) by deleting the word “ten” after the words “a fine of” and substituting therefor the word “twenty-five” and by deleting the words “six months” after the words “imprisonment for” and substituting therefor the words “one year”.

Passed by the House of Representatives this day of , 2020.
Clerk to the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate this day of , 2020.
Clerk to the Senate