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Stuck in quarantine for a week despite full vaccination

A Grenadian woman who returned to Grenada almost a week ago to hold a funeral for her husband is complaining of inconsistencies with a new policy by the Ministry of Health regarding length of stay in quarantine.

Mary Bullen said she was given twenty-one days from work to fly to Grenada, lay her husband Christopher Bullen to rest, and return to her job in New York.

However, she has been sitting in quarantine since last week Wednesday although she expected to spend only 48 hours because she said she met all the requirements laid down by the Ministry of Health.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the new policy unveiled by government for fully vaccinated persons came into effect from May 1.

Under the new policy, anyone arriving from approved destinations, and fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and carrying a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of arrival in Grenada, would be able to leave quarantine facilities within two days once they are medically cleared through a PCR test done after arrival.

Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Shawn Charles confirmed on Tuesday that the policy is in force.

However, he said there are instances where the new policy would not apply, such as where a fully vaccinated person has travelled within a group and other members of the party are not fully vaccinated or where the traveller arrives with children.

Mrs Bullen said she travelled to Grenada by herself and has been vaccinated since March with the Moderna vaccine used by the United States.

She said after arriving in Grenada on Wednesday her first interaction with public health officials was on Monday when a test sample was taken from her.

She is also concerned that over five days she was unable to reach any health official by telephone, a constant complaint of many people since the pandemic hit Grenada over a year ago.

“I did everything they asked and expected to be in quarantine for 48 hours. I have to go back to work, I am on limited time.”

“I cannot finalise a burial date or a return date because I am waiting on the government here,” she said.

The earlier policy which stipulates that five days must elapse before a PCR test is administered, is still in force and once medically cleared and released from quarantine facilities people are still required to observe COVID-19 prevention protocols leading up to fourteen days.

The reduced quarantine period, along with an intense vaccination campaign, is aimed at resuming tourism in Grenada.

Mrs Bullen said whether she arrived in Grenada before the new policy went into force, she believes it should be applied retroactively since the important factor is meeting the stated requirements.