DATA SHOW THAT INBOUND TRAVELLERS DO NOT POSE SIGNIFICANT COVID-19 RISKS DUE TO ROBUST HEALTH MEASURES AT ENTRY PORTS- DR. WILKINSON
Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 07, 2021 (SKNIS): The new quarantine requirements announced for fully-vaccinated incoming travelers under Statutory rules and orders No. 38 of 2021 will indeed lead to an increase in visitors for the upcoming Christmas season. It is against this backdrop that Medical Chief of Staff of the Joseph N. France General Hospital and Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, highlighted that majority of the COVID-19 cases for the month of September are local cases with only a few being imported.
“Our protocol requires that only vaccinated visitors come with a negative PCR- Test which was done within 72 hours of travel and they are kept in quarantine for four days and then released if they test negative. Children who are unvaccinated or cannot be vaccinated will be under the umbrella of their parents or guardians. Citizens and residents are not prevented from coming back home dependent on their vaccination status, however, if they are unvaccinated they will be quarantined for 14 days and they must provide a negative PCR-Test prior to release. When we look at the data from September 1st to September 30th, we found that of the 844 positive tests that were returned, 11 out of the 844 or 1.3 percent were from the inbound passenger and 833 of the 844 or 98.7 percent were from persons in the community,” said Dr. Wilkinson at the NEOC COVID-19 Briefing on October 6.
Dr. Wilkinson stated that the data source will prove to be a critical tool since it highlights that the risk from the inbound passenger is low and there is more latitude for the Federation to reduce the quarantine period as the incoming passenger does not pose a significant risk.
Statutory Rules and Orders No. 38 of 2021 took effect from 5:01 a.m. on Thursday 7th October, 2021 and shall expire at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday 21st October, 2021. Under these new regulations, all fully-vaccinated arriving travellers shall remain in a government-approved COVID-19 hotel or quarantine facility for a period of twenty-four hours and a COVID-19 test sample shall be taken within that period; or may quarantine at a private residence certified by the National COVID-19 Taskforce, with the written permission of the Chief Medical Officer in consultation with the Commissioner of Police and shall remain in quarantine for a period of twenty-four hours and a COVID-19 test sample would be taken within that period; and shall only be released from quarantine upon receiving a negative RT-PCR test result.
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