Adhere to quarantine protocols or face a penalty says the Dominica government

Dr. Laura Esprit

Nationals and non-nationals traveling to Dominica who fail to adhere to mandatory quarantine will have to pay a penalty as Government seeks to tighten enforcement of the country’s entry protocols.

Coordinator of the Reopening of Borders Program, Dr. Laura Esprit, made that announcement at a press conference last week where it was announced that Dominica had recorded another confirmed case of COVID-19.

“As it relates to penalties, the following penalties have been approved: the penalty for non-adherence to mandatory quarantine in the Commonwealth of Dominica is EC$5000 or 6 months imprisonment and the penalty for providing false information on your health questionnaire would be EC$1000 or 3 months imprisonment,” she revealed.

In terms of the updated protocols approved by the cabinet as of August 20, 2020, applicable to all travelers both nationals and non-nationals, Dr. Esprit said the risk classification system has been modified and several parameters were taken into consideration in an effort to classify countries and territories in four groupings for which the protocol will vary.

She said the country risk classification is expected to be reviewed on a weekly basis, but standard grouping are as follows:

  1. CARICOM Travel Bubble
  2.  Low-risk countries
  3. Medium-risk countries
  4. High-Risk Countries

Dr. Esprit explained that travelers from any risk classification category must have traveled directly from the country of origin and have been in that country for at least 21 days prior to arrival or in transit countries will also influence the risk classification

“Bearing in mind there is at least one in transit stop before arrival into the Commonwealth of Dominica, in order for this process to be less confusing to you, I recommend 3 things,” she added,  “1.  Note your place of origin, 2. Note your in transit ports, 3.  Only focus on where this country fits within the risk classification and what specific protocols apply.”

She mentioned that if the protocols differ, as a guide, one should follow the one that falls within the high risk or the highest spectrum.

“For example, I am hoping to travel to Dominica from the USA which is deemed high risk based on the specified criteria, but I must transit through Antigua which is considered to be in the CARICOM travel bubble, hence a different classification…,” Dr. Esprit explained.

She noted that regarding protocols for countries within the CARICOM travel bubble, the pre-arrival process mandates that the traveler only completes an online health questionnaire, at least 24 hours prior to arrival in Dominica. Website”domcovid19.dominica.gov.dm

“Upon disembarkation, the traveler is expected to sanitize their hands, undergo a health assessment to include a temperature check, undertake a rapid diagnostic test and await results which may take up to 20 minutes,” Dr. Esprit added. “Providing that your rapid test is negative, your result is negative, the online risk assessment is acceptable and the traveler has a normal temperature upon arrival, then the traveler is expected to advance to immigration and customs for processing,” she stated.

Protocols for countries deemed low risk, like the CARICOM travel bubble Dr. Esprit said the pre-arrival process mandates that in addition to completing the online health questionnaire, prior to getting into Dominica, a negative PCR result recorded within 24 to 72 hours prior to arrival in Dominica must be uploaded on the online platform.

“As a result of this action notification of health clearance to travel will be issued for which travelers are expected to present this notification to airlines prior to boarding and upon disembarkation into Dominica,” she explained.

She said upon arrival from the ports travelers coming from low risk countries will be monitored for 7 days.

The same requirement applies to the pre-arrival process for low and medium countries.

However, Dr. Esprit made it clear that upon arrival in Dominica, travelers from medium risk countries will be monitored for 14 days.

“The difference though, is as an option to the 14-day monitoring, a traveler can decide to have a PCR test done on day 5 whilst being monitored at their place of residence,” she said.

Dr. Esprit continued, “If the result is negative there will be no further monitoring at their place of residence.”

The same requirements also apply for travelers from high risk countries.

“Travelers from high risk countries are subjected to a rapid PCR Test,” she said. “If the test is positive a PCR test will be administered immediately by means of swabbing and the traveler will await results in a government-approved facility at the travelers expense.”

She continued, “If the test is negative the traveler will be transported to mandatory quarantine at the government-operated quarantine facility or the government-certified private property for 5 to 7 days.”

She said this will allow for PCR test to be done on day 5 to await test results up to an additional 48 hours.

“Again if the PCR is positive, hospital admission is mandated, but if the same is read as negative, that’s the one that is done on day 5, then the traveler will be deemed medically cleared and will be subjected to scheduled and unscheduled checks,” Dr. Esprit stated.

She explained that fees will be charged with respect to all travelers coming into the country.

“The cost for the PCR Test is EC$100 or US$40,” she said. “The fees for quarantine which applies to the very first night and that’s for accommodation and sanitization, that would cost EC$400 or US$150 per person. Again, that is for the first night.”

The fee for an additional night is EC$225 or US$90, “and that’s just for accommodation.”

The rates for meals will be as follows: “EC$15 or $US6 for breakfast, EC$20 or US$8 for lunch and EC$20 or EC$8 for dinner.”

Dr. Esprit urged the public to remain in a state of vigilance.

“Travelers and the public alike are further encouraged to adhere to the public, health and social guidelines previously reiterated and these include, of course, the wearing of your face masks at all times, even during the arrival process up to departure as well as in public places,” she advised.

She also stressed the importance of physical distancing, practising of respiratory etiquette and personal sanitization and following the instructions provided by the health team and the Ministry of Health.

Since Dr. Esprit’s announcement, Dominica has recorded another case of COVID-19 taking the total number of active cases to 2 and the overall number of confirmed cases, to 20.

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21 Comments

  1. August 27, 2020

    Out of your mine :

  2. greed
    August 26, 2020

    Dr. Esprit when there is a transparent process come back and talk. When handpick process for quarantine and testing. Handpicking for testing before leaving the Island….when people coming in secret back door and charter plane and the authorities know about it.

    Intelligent Dr. Esprit do not let these people cause you to lose your professionalism and integrity. Go in quarantine too and let them come and talk. Cause talk and actual action is not consistent.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  3. I’m not comin 2 DA
    August 26, 2020

    What this Ducktor is saying is this: “Stay away from Dominica.” The scariest part for me if tested pos. Is to be admitted at PMH. Why not fly all positivity people to Guadeloupe or Martinique? De Ducktor gone crazy.

  4. August 25, 2020

    I was looking forward to be in Dominica, this Xmas for my sister’s Jubilee birthday–yes Jubilee; she will be 50 years old. The plan was to have a great family celebration with her, now look at what I am reading from this long and confusing report above–with all its dollar cost and jail terms–after all!

    I am free from corvid-19, where I am in Toronto Canada; all my Government Services have resumed; all shops outside are opened–no long line-up to enter various places; people are sitting together again, to sip their coffee and have a chat.

    But in Dominica, I am reading about the prison sentence, the thousands of dollar charges; why would I go home to spend 5 days away from my people which will cost me $2000.00?

    Well, sorry Dominica, I am staying where I am now, at no charge wee. I will send that money to my sister to celebrate her birthday–it will be sad not to be with her. But Satan, know that you have not yet triumphed–this can never be!

  5. August 25, 2020

    She is completely nuts, why..
    So, why is dominica addvertising come see our beautiful iland. Listing all hotels, places to visit ect.
    You are hungry for visitors and their money for the economy, and all the beautiful pictures printed.
    You are a joke completely😠

  6. Watching
    August 25, 2020

    So let me get this right.
    You are inviting people to come to Dominica (including Dominicans) who would like to return home and imposing these mandatory, most insane five-star hotel costs on them?
    People are required to pay $400.00 a night, + test, + breakfast, lunch and dinner. The stay is for a designated mandatory period.
    Or else prison?
    In the face of a global pandemic?
    And no one in the Ministry of health or any other part of the civil service is questioning this?

    Someone please report this madness in the face of a global pandemic to the WHO, PAHO, HUMAN RIGHS COMMISSION, and the UN.

    Dominica has descended into real madness I must say!

  7. pureblackmagic
    August 25, 2020

    Dear Dr L Esprit, I believe that you mean well, and really don’t want to impose the charge and imprisonment to visitors, let’s just hope that those visiting especially returning Dominican can comply, setting the example that the virus can be controlled if we take early action, such as testing and follow up. Bare in mind that some of people don’t have any information as to the website where we can get the information about traveling to and from Dominica, It would be nice to list the site. In other to avoid any inconveniences when traveling to Dominica. Dominican and our visiting friends let us work together for the common good of our nature Isle. Covid free is a blessing that only by working together it can be achieved, we can do it, we just have to adhere to the RULES. Let’s all play our part. Thank you my fellow Dominican.

  8. Zandoli
    August 24, 2020

    I am not even trying to understand that protocol. When I get vaccinated I will travel again. In the meantime, I am staying put, wearing my mask when I am indoors in a public place, washing my hands as frequently as I can, keeping my distance from people.
    Who needs to go through all this hassle unless it is absolutely necessary?

    • August 25, 2020

      @Zandoli, I was thinking of going to Dominica in December, but all this madness of rules and regulation is fulling up my head and it is telling me to stay in my safe place in Toronto, Canada, where our living situations are fast improving, and it is getting easy and easier to go outdoors. When Corvid-19 is dead then I will go to Dominica–I am sure it will die before me, wee!.

  9. Danziger
    August 24, 2020

    Doc, bwen bonjour, I will stay Guadeloupe papa, I’ll like my freedom so I’ll make my sancohe with viande parfumé, my local juice, paté coco etc. Won’t be able to go in quarantine the only thing is stay where I am.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  10. Rasfire
    August 24, 2020

    I heared a man came back door and was all about and the good citizens called the police a few times and none came,threats of fines or punishment are only worth the paper there wrote on if it is backed up with action

  11. Sylvester Cadette
    August 24, 2020

    I PRAY THAT NO ONE GETS THIS DREADED VIRUS.
    Apart from the toll on your health it also comes at a VERY HIGH COST.

    “The cost for the PCR Test is EC$100 or US$40,” she said. “The fees for quarantine which applies to the very first night and that’s for accommodation and sanitization, that would cost EC$400 or US$150 per person. Again, that is for the first night.”
    The fee for an additional night is EC$225 or US$90, “and that’s just for accommodation.” The rates for meals will be as follows: “EC$15 or $US6 for breakfast, EC$20 or US$8 for lunch and EC$20 or EC$8 for dinner.”

    Medical care is always expensive but if you fly in from a medium risk area and test negative but in quarantine, after the 5 day period you still test negative then it means your EC $2000.00 is gone, according to this cost-breakdown below. WOW! This is Tough on their pocket. And if for 14 days then it is then close to EC $5000. NICE ONE

    Garçon Kité mwen battre mizè mwen koté mwen ye eh. :-D

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  12. A Doctor?
    August 24, 2020

    These people must stop stooping do low with her foolish talk about fines and penalties. Before the Dr. opened her mouth to talk her crap she should ask those cabinet ministers if they are friends of the UK citizen that tested positive and if they knew he was not quarantined or encouraged to break the rule. If he signed a legal document stating the penalties for violating the so called mandatory quarantine law, then they need to go after him and make an example of him. But to try to blame Peter for Paul and make life difficult for others who want to come to their country is pure foolishness and ignorance on the part of the Dr.
    If the government is serious about protecting citizens from covid-19 then they need to put things in place to ensure the safety of all. They first need to stop that expensive quarantine fee for citizens and put something that is more citizen friendly so no one will have to lie about their health. What they have in place now is a big joke

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  13. My Bad
    August 24, 2020

    Why are people that are supposed to be educated professionals stooping so low with their crap nou?
    I am for quarantining but Dr. Esprit is not in a position to be the messenger of Skerrit or politicians. Which section of the constitution is Dr. Esprit quoting with her charges and penalties for breaking mandatory quarantine law? She should allow Skerrit or Blackmore to these announcements so they could tell the public under what constitution that law is found.
    Damn man I am fedup of Skerrit causing so many educated people make themselves pass like fools manm

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  14. Not A Herd Follower
    August 24, 2020

    I think the classification of originating countries by risk level is useful. DNO, is there a list of countries that fall within each risk group? If so, can you regularly publish the current list?

  15. RoRo
    August 24, 2020

    Who on earth is she? The newest member of the cabal…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 16
  16. SMH
    August 24, 2020

    OK! so now that you all know that the English national was out partying and doing God knows what he should not be doing,,,, will he be charged??? i mean look at where we are now because of him!!! he deserves to be charged of more that 5,000k

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8
  17. Observer
    August 24, 2020

    Some of this makes no sense.
    This classification is too complicated especially as the figures and situation is changing all of the time. Also, anyone coming to Dominica from outside the Caribbean must use an intermediary country.

    I get one message from this long and convoluted procedure.
    The message is “You are not welcome – Do not come to Dominica”
    Who wants to travel to Dominica at this cost and with such hustle?
    Let me point out the cost laid out here for testing and quarantine which is necessary to protect the country is outright crazy and unjust.
    Someone is definitely out to make some money.

    In the meantime…. the island of Barbados, which is way ahead of the pack, is on an offensive drive to make visitors welcome and at home, offering innovative incentive for visitors to come and stay.
    Meanwhile…over here, the little island of Dominica is using a fear mongering and deterrence campaign as a disincentive to visit.

    Go back to the drawing board with…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 15
    • Observer
      August 24, 2020

      Go back to the drawing board with this one!

  18. Labour working
    August 24, 2020

    All you can close the boarder back cause that’s pure ghetto talk if that person don’t have money to pay for the room and boarding what’s the next step lady I have my home so even I’m negative came from a high risk you still telling me I have to quarantine at government facility all I see is da broke and you all looking for any dollar all you can get to pay skerrit palace

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 12
  19. Ibrahim Brohim
    August 24, 2020

    There should be automatic quarantine especially for persons coming from high risk countries

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

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