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A number of returning Vincentians felt the financial impact, last Saturday, of the last-minute protocols put in place by their government, which required them to spend five nights in a hotel, at their expense, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government announced the new protocols after the country recorded 19 cases of COVID-19 linked to the first two American Airlines flights from Miami on July 11 and 18 — the first flights since the air bridge was closed in March. 

“I sent my hotel quarantine bill to you. I feel it for locals who do not have the money to pay this and had to pay it or their passports will be seized,” a Vincentian-American told iWitness News Saturday night.

The returning national showed us a bill for a total of EC$1,140: for their five-night stay (EC$885), a 10% service charge (EC$114), 11% vat (EC$125) and Government Levy (EC$15).

“The hotel bill is too much. I saw two ladies sitting outside waiting for someone to come pay their hotel bill. A lady with two kids had to wait for her husband to pay the bill.  She had her teenage daughter and 1-year-old son,” one returning national told iWitness News.

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“There were people, Vincentians, who have their homes that are forced to pay this money. They were brought here and had to wait outside for family members to bring money to them,” the national said.

The source told iWitness News that there were police officers stationed at the hotel and the in-quarantine guests could only receive food from their relatives.

“We are not allowed to give our family anything we brought for them.”

iWitness News was reliably informed that one person who returned home for the funeral of a close relative was only allowed to give the burial suit they brought from the United States to their St. Vincent-based relatives after pleading with police officers to contact their superiors and seek permission to do so.

“This is insane. And the people who broke quarantine from previous flights are not being reprimanded,” another returning national told iWitness News.

The national was referring to the refusal of the government to use against quarantine breakers the amendment to the Public Health Act that was passed in Parliament in April for that specific purpose.

The government had said that it prefers to use moral suasion than to use the law in its attempts to justify non-enforcement of the law, which could see persons fined as much as EC$2,000 for each day that they breach their quarantine.

The source felt that other returning nationals were being punished for the actions of their fellow citizens who had breached the quarantine without consequence.

They said that a government employee had been among the alleged quarantine-breakers.

“Cops here with guns like we are criminals,” the national said and expressed hope that local health officials could expedite the COVID-19 test conducted locally that would determine when their quarantine ends.

SVG has recorded 52 cases of COVID-19, with 39 of the patients having recovered from their illness. There has been no death linked to COVID-19 in SVG.

21 replies on “Hefty hotel quarantine bills for returning Vincies”

  1. All those comments because you have to pay …seems like everyone wants to be government and make the decisions. When you were in another country didn’t you have to comply with all that Donald Trump’s says ? Your own country rules you don’t want to abide with …

    1. Why can’t persons be quarantined at their homeS if you are a Vincentian? Isn’t there a centre for this purpose? If you want to put persons at a hotel it should not be at their expense.

      1. BC Ralph is a smart man and knows anyone he’s sends home will probably be in town liming everyday!

  2. Sounds like extortion to me why would anyone in they right mine return home to this stay put where you are and people asking why LIAT gone belly up greed is one of the seven deadly sins.

  3. Dr. Dexter Lewis says:

    This is horrendous. The government just needed to stop the flights. Not punish people. Stop the flights until the USA has its stuff under control. Do not abuse the people. The government made an error in restarting flights, especially from the USA, prematurely.
    We can wait another 2 or 3 months, if that is what it takes for Trump to get the USA in working order. Watch to see when France and Germany and many others allow American flights.

  4. Calling for a Revolution in the way we think says:

    If you are traveling to St. Vincent anytime soon and you can avoid it, please stay away from st Vincent. I beg of you do not come to St Vincent for business nor pleasure if you can avoid it. I arrived to st Vincent on July 25th, on the AA flight from Miami. On arrival the reception was cold, and we were treated as criminals who have committed heinous crime again society. The level of disorder and frustration that was created on Saturday were unbelievable. I am encouraging anyone planning a trip to St Vincent should cancel immediately if possible. You will you arrive at the airport and you will be treated like a criminal with zero customer service and professionalism. I can’ t express to you the level to stress one will experience coming to St. Vincent during Covid and the government new protocols. Dr. Duncan who shouted at us stating this new protocol has been posted for a week now, giving the impression that everyone just booked their flight to St Vincent last week. While I understand asking persons arriving to the island to be quarantine for a few days with a negative result; I am yet to understand the rational for someone who is traveling to St. Vincent for a week and to be put on a fourteen days quarantine. I think the government should just closed their boarders because to put people thought this level of stress on arrival doesn’t worth the aggravation. If you are just coming for a vacation or business please stay away from St. Vincent at all cost, I beg of you! If you are arriving from Miami, you will be treated as a DOG and criminal.
    On arrival I presented two negative tests on arrival and that didn’t count for anything. I am not taking away from steps to protect the people but there has to me a more humane way of dealing with others. Why are polices checking up on me like I am in cell block A? When I get to the airport on Saturday, I guess I will be arrested because I am technically still under quarantine. My uncle’s funeral is on Friday and I can’t go to the funeral. This is so sad , someone who took care of me as a child is being laid to rest and I am in the country and I can’t go to say by final goodbye. RIP Uncle!
    I am amazed at how we treat each other with so much hate and disrespect in St. Vincent in a day and age where the world has been brought to its’ knees in many ways. I urge the government to rethink these 14 days quarantine for those who are tested negative and for the love of God let the team at the airport show some humanity during an already charged and stressful time for humanity. Until my family and friends. One last word. I am calling on all Vincentians to start a revolution! There needs to be revolution in the way we think as black people. Our mentality must change if we want to change our current situation. Be the change you wish to see in the world Gandhi. As I leave this country I pray that there is more support and respect for each other because covid will bring all of us to our knees and without a supportive community we will all fail.

  5. Thats the way it was designed, to discourage Vincentians from returning, and visitors from coming.

    I bet there is some ULP connection with the hotel owner, what happened to the top of the bill?

  6. Patrick Doyle says:

    Five days is a waste of time and money, This virus can be active for up to 20 days. Read the news and research. Plus, allowing aircraft from USA to arrive is utter madness. I am in New Zealand. Boarders are closed to USA aircraft and anyone who is allowed in MUST quarantine in a government appointed hotel for 14 days and be tested twice in that time. They cannot leave without a clear test. The Government pays. P Doyle

    1. I am in agreement. People must realize this virus is not an easy one to deal with. St.Vincent cannot handle what New York and the rest of the US is dealing with now. There was a 14 day quarantine requirement before AA flew in. That should never have changed. If I travel to SVG I have to consider 28 days of life in quarantine because upon return I will have to quarantine again. It is unfortunate that persons had to pay out of pocket but the question remains will people really self quarantine at home have no contact with other family members, or will they be around town. There are persons who have the virus and have no symptoms at all which makes the spread so easy. In addition very few persons are wearing masks which is a major concern. Let’s keep SVG safe.

  7. Sounds like if you come In for their snap election you skate free. If not, crap smoke yuh pipe. This looks like a money shake down scheme.

  8. Third Day in Quarantine no test results says:

    Doc, you know that this hold process doesn’t make sense . I am outraged that we are subjected to this kind poor planning and execution. Doc, yes you are right the Vincentian trump is no different that the US trump. Take politics out and put yourself in our shoes. Going on our thirst day in quarantine and no test results. One of the nurse said today that we can’t leave until we get the test result. I am not going to pay for a sixth night because of the of the inefficiency of the system. I have called the number they gave us at the airport and no one has answered that number each time I call. If you are going to subject us to this level of skulduggery cover your tracks and don’t make this so obvious.

  9. This is only concerning the flights from the US. For instance the passengers traveling with Air Canada from Toronto do not need to stay in a hotel for 5 days since the Canadian government is doing a much better containing the virus than Trump. You just need to be tested before leaving Canada and upon arrival in SVG. Then wait 24hours until you get your negative result and be free to go.

    1. Jolin Thompson says:

      Hi Simon B
      Is this indeed facts? The information you shared. How and where do I verify this information?

    2. Too many in SVG blame Trump for everything. It is strange that our people in SVG can be so ignorant. THE USA IS NOT A DICTATORSHIP AND TRUMP DOES NOT CONTROL EVERYTHING! The USA is not SVG, (Trump has far-less power in the USA than our PM has in SVG)! Trump cannot dictate how each and every state handles the virus. It is called the United STATES because the US Constitution mandates each STATE has the power to govern INDEPENDENTLY in most all maters.
      The thing is that it is easier for Vincentians to blame one person than to blame each specific mayor or governor. It has been indicated lately that BIG TECH technically owns all Media outlets in the USA except Fox, and their mandate is to get rid of Trump at all costs! If Obama were still president he would get a “pass” on everything.

      As we are seeing Trump does not even have the power to send ” troops” or “agents” to stop the Marxist/Atheist/Liberal/Democrat violent anarchist rioters in Portland. He can only use them to protect Federal buildings. If we are to blame Trump, blame him for things Trump did such as the World Trade mess before the virus. Trump is not a racist against blacks because there is NO evidence of it, but he does seem to hate Muslims and worships Israel at Muslim expense.

  10. Calliaquaman says:

    Milking your own Cow so, what abour Foreigners! !Sir this is ULP love and rozez in a red basket.

    Ulp Movie LOVE YOU TO DEATH!

    Starring Tracy Ullman and Joey (Kevin Kliine) every way mother and daughter try tl kill her husband.

    This how Ralph, , his Son and cousin Julian is doing to us. Putting their feet on neck and taking way your money..

  11. Anthony Martin says:

    Look at the receipt closely. Ocean-view. Double room, ECD…. quite affordable if you ask me! I pay more than that in USD.

  12. Persons in the us will send thousands of dollars home..tey spend 1 week at a hotel an complainin

  13. This had to be done because of the reckless behaviour of other Vincentian not following the protocol by doing what the wanted and making the infection climb to almost 40 people, good have to suffer for the stupid and ignorant one, The people who were responsible for the rise in infection should be charge heavily for the reckless ignorant behaviour. We should be responsible and think about others before we start being reckless.

    1. Very true Rose! I often disagree with our PM, especially with most everything economic, but in this case, because too many people decided they will not obey the quarantine, ALL people returning are punished. Maybe this terrible law could have been avoided if the government would have just enforced the first law that dictates that those breaking quarantine have to pay 2000 EC per day for each day caught in violation.

      Remember that CNN Newscaster Cuomo, brother of the NY Mayor, who FAKED that he had the virus was supposed to stay in his basement but was caught outdoors as he cussed-out the person who caught him? It just adds to the reputation of CNN and Democrats to FAKE everything. Of course most Vincentians ignore all the bad truth about the Democrats and instead believe “news” against anything Trump; presented without evidence. DO not blame the PM entirely for this one. We are all TERRIFIED THAT WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE and instead we are DEMANDING that HE and HE ALONE keeps us safe. If he did not have this terrible law, the other half would be crying that he is not serious enough!
      Whatever he does he cannot win!

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