The Grenada government has signalled its intention to significantly increase the fines for any breach of the quarantine regulations aimed at curbing the spreading of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the Order Paper for Wednesday’s sitting of Parliament, the government, which controls all 15 seats in the legislative chamber, will amend the 1947 Quarantine Act to increase the penalty for individuals who breach the Quarantine (COVID-19) regulations, which is currently EC$10,000 and six months in jail.
According to the amendment, the new fine will be EC$25,000 and one year in jail.
To date, five people, including two American nationals, have been charged under the existing with the magistrate who dealt with the matter ordering fines ranging between EC$3000 to EC$5000.
Grenada has recorded 41 laboratory-confirmed cases since the first case was recorded in March with most of the already declared medically recovered. There has been no death and no indication of community spread.
This is the first time this legislation which is relating to quarantine and similar matters is amended. The 73-year-old legislation provides the Minister for Health with the power to establish a Quarantine Authority and has parliamentarians approve regulations for its effective functioning.
The Quarantine amendment Bill is also seeking to insert a new section 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.