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Posted: Tuesday 29 December, 2020 at 9:41 AM

American tourist to be charged for breaching COVID-19 protocols

By: Jermine Abel,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AN American tourist, who is a recovering COVID-19 patient, will soon know his fate when criminal charges would be preferred against him for attempting to leave the Federation after deliberately breaching quarantine rules.


    In what many have described as a “selfish and hazardous act”, the unnamed tourist is likely to face the full brunt of the law in St. Kitts and Nevis for deliberately walking out of a quarantine site.


    The matter at the center of a controversy is that a male tourist who, according to police, on Saturday, December 26, 2020 used a fake name and called a certified taxi and left the hotel without properly checking out.
    The guest, who is a citizen of and resides in the United States of America, was in isolation at the hotel and was ready to depart the island.


    Sources explained that the tourist was able to purchase a ticket and reach the departure lounge of the airport, while waiting for the flight.


    Police, after receiving information that the guest had left for the airport, responded with members of the Special Services Unit who were attired in full personal protective equipment. 
    “The individual was found in the departure lounge at the R. L. B. International Airport. The patient was escorted to a government-designated quarantine site and is under the supervision of the security forces and members of the Compliance Task Force,” police said in a statement. 
    Some members of the public have described the escape as that from a movie plot, and are questioning the checks and balances that are in place at various hotels monitoring guests entering and leaving the facilities.
    Questions were also raised about security at the locations and why was he able to purchase a ticket and enter the waiting area without providing a negative PCR test result. 
    This case comes several weeks after a female American tourist and her boyfriend were slapped with charges and fined in the Cayman Islands for deliberately breaching quarantine. 
    In that matter, which gained international media recognition, the young lady entered the island and was placed in the mandatory 14-day quarantine. After testing negative on day two, she deliberately took off her monitoring device and went to see her jet ski boyfriend compete.
    She and her boyfriend were both fined $2,500 and given 40 hours of community service.


    However, the Director of Public Prosecution challenged the sentence and had it upgraded to four months in prison.
    After a successful appeal by her lawyer, the sentence was reduced to two months of jail time.
    The local police force in St. Kitts and Nevis has not had its best of times recently in dealing with Americans, as several officers were reprimanded for allowing a tourist and his wife to leave the island after assaulting a police officer and was placed in the Frigate Bay lockups.


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