New regulations to manage the spread of COVID-19 will come into effect this week.
According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, the changes include amendments to the Infectious Diseases Regulations that will make it mandatory for people in quarantine to wear monitoring bracelets.
“We are introducing the bracelets on Tuesday after they have gone through a period of testing. In addition on Monday we will amend the legislation to make it mandatory to wear the bracelet if one is prescribed to undergo a period of quarantine,” he disclosed.
While the bracelets are tamper-proof, the prime minister said under the new regulations anyone who damages the bracelets will be fined.
“We want to make the fine a hefty one, first to include the cost of replacement and secondly, to act as a deterrent,” he explained.
Over the past two weeks, Browne said there has been an increase in visitors to the country and with this comes the need to strengthen health protocols with the objective of managing the COVID-19 crisis.
The prime minister also expressed satisfaction with the outcome of discussions with the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) which will revise its travel advisory related to Antigua and Barbuda effective today.
He bemoaned the situation with Barbados’ COVID-19 classification of Antigua and Barbuda which remains at ‘medium risk’. This is a revision from its earlier classification of the country as ‘high risk’ early in November.
The prime minister said he is still unhappy with Barbados’ classification of Antigua and Barbuda.
“We asked them to further review the medium risk classification as this is not what the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has recommended. We recognised that Barbados has been ‘mum’ on this matter. We are concerned because it may influence others who may be seeking information about us. It’s a vexing matter and one that needs to be resolved,” PM Browne stated.
The latest information from the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre shows seven active cases, no hospitalisations, 141 confirmed positive cases with four deaths, one of which was an imported case.