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Hotel quarantine regulations relaxed

David Burt, the Premier (File photograph)

Unvaccinated travellers will be able to spend some of their mandatory quarantine at home instead of a hotel, it was revealed last night.

David Burt, the Premier, said unvaccinated people who arrived on the island with a clear preflight PCR test would only have to stay at a hotel until they got a clear Day 4 test.

The rest of the 14 day quarantine could be spent at home, but only if people wore an electronic tag.

The change will come into force on August 23.

He added unvaccinated people who arrived without a preflight PCR test would only need to stay in an approved centre until a clear Day 8 test and could return home, but also with an monitoring device.

But Mr Burt said that anyone who shared a home with an unvaccinated traveller would also have to quarantine and pass a Day 14 test.

He added: “Thanks to our progress in having nearly 75 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated and increasing the protection within out community, we can now begin to make revisions to how supervised quarantine works for unvaccinated persons who come through our borders, allowing a portion of their 14-day quarantine to be completed at home with strict restrictions.”

Mr Burt said: “These changes are not required, but looking at what we are seeing, we believe that these changes and adjustments can be made.”

Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security, said 56 people were in Government-approved quarantine centres yesterday and that 228 people had been released.

Ms Ming added that $222,561 had been spent by Government to date on the quarantine sites.

She said: “The changes to the unvaccinated travellers’ requirements to stay at a quarantine facility will be a welcome change to many, and the requirements will continue to be reviewed as we respond to the Covid-19 threat.”

Mr Burt ruled out tougher restrictions for large group events, despite the increase in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

He said: “We want to support economic activity and cultural activity and for those things to continue.”

Mr Burt added that enforcement of the rules continued and measures were in place to ensure rules were followed.

He said that the island was now in a better position in its fight against Covid-19 because of its vaccination rate, but emphasised that the basic precautions – such as hand washing and the wearing of masks – remained crucial.

Mr Burt added: “The fact is the coronavirus may be with us for a while and we are going to have to learn how we deal with the coronavirus being with us for a while.

“That is the approach that the Government is taking.

“The restrictions that were put in place were there to make sure the healthcare system did not become overwhelmed.

“In April, when our vaccination rates were only about 20 per cent, we were a few days away from the hospital being full and we have seen what happens when hospitals are full.”

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said officers would focus more on Covid-19 policy breaches at bars and restaurants.

Mr Corbishley said: “While we have paid attention to this area, there will be a step up in the amount of attention that we are going to take forward from this weekend.”

He added that the coronavirus was most dangerous in enclosed spaces where social distancing rules were ignored.

Mr Corbishley said: “We also know there have been cases where that has taken place within licensed premises.

“We must be clear that the rules are there to be observed.”

Mr Corbishley added that it was difficult to monitor large-scale, unofficial events over the Cup Match weekend, but that adequate resources were allocated for these gatherings.

He said: “I think we dealt with the weekend very safely and, while we had some small incidents that we will review and take forward, the general message was that there was compliance across the island by many members of the public and businesses.

“On occasions where non-compliance did take place, files will be prepared and those people will be held to account.”

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Published August 13, 2021 at 9:54 am (Updated August 13, 2021 at 10:32 am)

Hotel quarantine regulations relaxed

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