Burt firm on quarantine for some returned residents despite petition
Thousands of people had signed a petition by last night to ask the Government not to impose travel restrictions on unvaccinated residents.
But David Burt, the Premier, insisted the country would stay on course to keep the island safe from the coronavirus and return to normal life as soon as possible.
He said: “I am certainly aware of the petition that is circulating. My only comment is that governing requires tough decisions.
“What everyone in this country knows and recognises is we must move past this pandemic.”
He added: “The fact is, we are trying to make sure we completely minimise the risk for the reintroduction of variants.”
Mr Burt was speaking after almost 3,000 signatures were racked up on the petition at website change.org.
The petition was launched after Mr Burt’s national address last Sunday, which included a requirement for non-immunised travellers to undergo a supervised 14-day quarantine at their own expense in a Government centre from June 6.
The appeal accused the Government of “trying to scare” people into taking the vaccine.
Mr Burt and Kim Wilson, the health minister, have several times said that taking the vaccine was a personal choice.
The petition said if the island took a “first step into segregation between vaccinated and unvaccinated” it would be “unlawful and unethical”.
The announcement on Sunday came after Mr Burt in recent weeks hinted tighter border controls were in the works.
The island’s latest surge in cases was linked to the B117 variant of the virus and other variants have appeared elsewhere in the world.
Mr Burt said he recognised that “people are concerned – I get it entirely”.
But he added the Government “did not rush into this decision” and said that if more changes had to be made “they will be made”.