Montserrat reopens its borders but discriminates on Quarantine

No gathering today would look like this one – the good old days of Plymouth

The following release headed as follows really does little more than remove the requirement to apply for ‘permission’ to enter Montserrat. “It’s still so easy to be a COVID-19 criminal…”

THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT RELAXES SOME COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

No restrictions on the number of persons allowed to gather, Border Reopens, No quarantine period for Fully-Vaccinated Persons among other changes

Thursday, March 31, 2022 – The Government of Montserrat has made some significant relaxation adjustments to the COVID-19 suppression regulations since the implementation of these measures in 2020.

As of today Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 5:00 a.m. the Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.3) Order, (S.R.O 19 of 2022) took effect bringing an end to restrictions on the number of persons allowed to gather in a public place and removing the ‘Allowed to Enter Category’ which previously stipulated who is permitted to enter Montserrat, among other changes.  

Persons traveling to Montserrat are no longer required to fill out an online declaration form for permission to enter.  The pre-travel online declaration form is only required to be completed and submitted by non-resident technicians who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

As it relates to an individuals’ COVID-19 status, the new regulations maintain the requirements for persons entering Montserrat to present a negative COVID-19 test result.  The negative test result document must include all the information previously stipulated regarding the laboratory details; full name, address, and date of birth of the person tested; the date the test was conducted and it must now also include the date the sample was taken. 

The pre-entry requirements are as follows:

  • A person who intends to enter Montserrat shall take a COVID-19 test no earlier than three days prior to entry into Montserrat.

(2)  The following persons are exempted from this requirement:

(a)  a child under five years of age;

(b)  a person entering Montserrat in circumstances related to a medical evacuation; and

(c)  a person who has been granted permission by the Minister to enter Montserrat for the purpose of aiding with preparations for a disaster or after a disaster,

The owner of a vessel or aircraft must ensure that persons traveling are in possession of a copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 test or a negative RNA COVID-19 test or else the owner will be committing an offence.

Persons arriving on Montserrat are required to answer all questions asked by the Medical or Health Officer and may be required to undertake health checks and screenings.  Individuals who are fully vaccinated must provide the Medical or Health officer with proof of their vaccination status. If this evidence is not provided, then the individual will be regarded and treated as not being fully vaccinated.

A fully vaccinated person is required to be tested for COVID-19 on entry into Montserrat.  If the result indicates that the person is not infected with COVID-19 then the individual is not required to self-quarantine or isolate. However, if the test result is indeterminate (unknown/inconclusive) then the fully vaccinated person must go directly home, place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and shall remain there to await the results of further COVID-19 tests.

If further testing reveals that the fully vaccinated person is infected then he or she is required to self-quarantine or isolate until:

(a) he/she is not infected with COVID-19; or

(b)  he/she leaves Montserrat.

The regulations for a fully-vaccinated person will also apply to a fully-vaccinated non-resident technician.

Persons not fully vaccinated – entry into Montserrat

Individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated upon arrival after undergoing the necessary COVID-19 screenings are required to go directly to his/her home or place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and self-quarantine for 10 days.

Between eight and ten days after entering Montserrat the individual will be tested for COVID-19 to determine if he/she is negative and can therefore be released from quarantine on day 10.

If the individual is required to leave Montserrat before the 10 days have elapsed, then he/she will be allowed to do so.

Not fully vaccinated – Non-resident technician

The previously established COVID-19 testing requirements for a non-resident technician who is not fully vaccinated to be tested within 24 hours of entry into Montserrat remain in place.

Prior to entering Montserrat, the unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated non-resident technician is required to apply to the Minister of Health for approval to enter Montserrat before submitting the online declaration. To apply for approval, an unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated non-resident technician should send an email outlining details of intended travel to Montserrat to mehcsmail@gov.ms.

The non-resident technician who is not fully vaccinated is not required to self-quarantine but must be guided by the following:

  1. only be in a public place for the purpose of traveling to and from the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician;
  2. wear a mask at all times while at the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician;
  3. practice social distancing while at the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician; and
  4. remain at his place of occupancy at all times except when traveling to and from the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician.

All persons entering Montserrat are required to pay the requisite fees for the COVID-19 test(s), where applicable.   Additionally, antigen tests have been added to the list of COVID-19 tests accepted for entry into Montserrat; the other two are RNA and PCR. However, antibody tests are not accepted.

Persons who enter Montserrat under the current order will not be allowed to switch to the new order S.R.O 19 of 2022.

Protocols for Children  

The new SRO also makes amendments to regulations pertaining to children.  Under the new order, if a child under the age of 18 enters Montserrat, the child will be treated like the adult who accompanied the child when entering the island.  Additionally, a child two years and under is not required to take a COVID-19 test.

Protocols-Bus drivers and taxi operators

As it relates to bus drivers and taxi operators, the new order stipulates that the owner or driver of a bus or taxi shall place or cause to be placed a hand hygiene station in a conspicuous (visible) place at the entrance of the bus or taxi.  The owner or driver must also mandate that passengers use the hand hygiene station before entering the bus or taxi; ensure regular refilling of containers or regular refilling and maintenance of the equipment at the hand hygiene station and ensure that a passenger wears a face covering in a bus or taxi.

Under the new SRO, face-coverings are still mandatory in public places, hand hygiene stations are still mandatory at the entrance of public and private buildings; restrictions on visitations to a patient in the hospital, a residential care facility, and a detainee in prison remain in place, except with permission or prior approval from the Heads of these institutions.

Previously established protocols for the operation of business establishments such as bars, restaurants, religious establishments, hair salons, spas, and other similar businesses, gyms, and sports clubs are no longer in place.

S.R.O 19 of 2022 will expire on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 5:00 a.m.

S.R.O 19 of 2022 is available on the Government website, under the Attorney General’s page. The S.R.O. can be accessed at the following direct link:  

Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.3) Order (www.gov.ms)

Additionally, please note the date of effect for S.R.O 19 of 2022 was amended in S.R.O 22 of 2022.  A link to the amendment order is provided below:

Public Health (Covid-19 Suppression) (No. 3) (Amendment) Order (www.gov.ms)

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

No gathering today would look like this one – the good old days of Plymouth

The following release headed as follows really does little more than remove the requirement to apply for ‘permission’ to enter Montserrat. “It’s still so easy to be a COVID-19 criminal…”

THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT RELAXES SOME COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

No restrictions on the number of persons allowed to gather, Border Reopens, No quarantine period for Fully-Vaccinated Persons among other changes

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Thursday, March 31, 2022 – The Government of Montserrat has made some significant relaxation adjustments to the COVID-19 suppression regulations since the implementation of these measures in 2020.

As of today Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 5:00 a.m. the Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.3) Order, (S.R.O 19 of 2022) took effect bringing an end to restrictions on the number of persons allowed to gather in a public place and removing the ‘Allowed to Enter Category’ which previously stipulated who is permitted to enter Montserrat, among other changes.  

Persons traveling to Montserrat are no longer required to fill out an online declaration form for permission to enter.  The pre-travel online declaration form is only required to be completed and submitted by non-resident technicians who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

As it relates to an individuals’ COVID-19 status, the new regulations maintain the requirements for persons entering Montserrat to present a negative COVID-19 test result.  The negative test result document must include all the information previously stipulated regarding the laboratory details; full name, address, and date of birth of the person tested; the date the test was conducted and it must now also include the date the sample was taken. 

The pre-entry requirements are as follows:

(2)  The following persons are exempted from this requirement:

(a)  a child under five years of age;

(b)  a person entering Montserrat in circumstances related to a medical evacuation; and

(c)  a person who has been granted permission by the Minister to enter Montserrat for the purpose of aiding with preparations for a disaster or after a disaster,

The owner of a vessel or aircraft must ensure that persons traveling are in possession of a copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 test or a negative RNA COVID-19 test or else the owner will be committing an offence.

Persons arriving on Montserrat are required to answer all questions asked by the Medical or Health Officer and may be required to undertake health checks and screenings.  Individuals who are fully vaccinated must provide the Medical or Health officer with proof of their vaccination status. If this evidence is not provided, then the individual will be regarded and treated as not being fully vaccinated.

A fully vaccinated person is required to be tested for COVID-19 on entry into Montserrat.  If the result indicates that the person is not infected with COVID-19 then the individual is not required to self-quarantine or isolate. However, if the test result is indeterminate (unknown/inconclusive) then the fully vaccinated person must go directly home, place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and shall remain there to await the results of further COVID-19 tests.

If further testing reveals that the fully vaccinated person is infected then he or she is required to self-quarantine or isolate until:

(a) he/she is not infected with COVID-19; or

(b)  he/she leaves Montserrat.

The regulations for a fully-vaccinated person will also apply to a fully-vaccinated non-resident technician.

Persons not fully vaccinated – entry into Montserrat

Individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated upon arrival after undergoing the necessary COVID-19 screenings are required to go directly to his/her home or place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and self-quarantine for 10 days.

Between eight and ten days after entering Montserrat the individual will be tested for COVID-19 to determine if he/she is negative and can therefore be released from quarantine on day 10.

If the individual is required to leave Montserrat before the 10 days have elapsed, then he/she will be allowed to do so.

Not fully vaccinated – Non-resident technician

The previously established COVID-19 testing requirements for a non-resident technician who is not fully vaccinated to be tested within 24 hours of entry into Montserrat remain in place.

Prior to entering Montserrat, the unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated non-resident technician is required to apply to the Minister of Health for approval to enter Montserrat before submitting the online declaration. To apply for approval, an unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated non-resident technician should send an email outlining details of intended travel to Montserrat to mehcsmail@gov.ms.

The non-resident technician who is not fully vaccinated is not required to self-quarantine but must be guided by the following:

  1. only be in a public place for the purpose of traveling to and from the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician;
  2. wear a mask at all times while at the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician;
  3. practice social distancing while at the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician; and
  4. remain at his place of occupancy at all times except when traveling to and from the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician.

All persons entering Montserrat are required to pay the requisite fees for the COVID-19 test(s), where applicable.   Additionally, antigen tests have been added to the list of COVID-19 tests accepted for entry into Montserrat; the other two are RNA and PCR. However, antibody tests are not accepted.

Persons who enter Montserrat under the current order will not be allowed to switch to the new order S.R.O 19 of 2022.

Protocols for Children  

The new SRO also makes amendments to regulations pertaining to children.  Under the new order, if a child under the age of 18 enters Montserrat, the child will be treated like the adult who accompanied the child when entering the island.  Additionally, a child two years and under is not required to take a COVID-19 test.

Protocols-Bus drivers and taxi operators

As it relates to bus drivers and taxi operators, the new order stipulates that the owner or driver of a bus or taxi shall place or cause to be placed a hand hygiene station in a conspicuous (visible) place at the entrance of the bus or taxi.  The owner or driver must also mandate that passengers use the hand hygiene station before entering the bus or taxi; ensure regular refilling of containers or regular refilling and maintenance of the equipment at the hand hygiene station and ensure that a passenger wears a face covering in a bus or taxi.

Under the new SRO, face-coverings are still mandatory in public places, hand hygiene stations are still mandatory at the entrance of public and private buildings; restrictions on visitations to a patient in the hospital, a residential care facility, and a detainee in prison remain in place, except with permission or prior approval from the Heads of these institutions.

Previously established protocols for the operation of business establishments such as bars, restaurants, religious establishments, hair salons, spas, and other similar businesses, gyms, and sports clubs are no longer in place.

S.R.O 19 of 2022 will expire on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 5:00 a.m.

S.R.O 19 of 2022 is available on the Government website, under the Attorney General’s page. The S.R.O. can be accessed at the following direct link:  

Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.3) Order (www.gov.ms)

Additionally, please note the date of effect for S.R.O 19 of 2022 was amended in S.R.O 22 of 2022.  A link to the amendment order is provided below:

Public Health (Covid-19 Suppression) (No. 3) (Amendment) Order (www.gov.ms)