Prime Minister Harris Corrects Misinformation On The Cost For Persons To Quarantine

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 29, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris used the Tuesday, October 27 edition of Leadership Matters to dispel the misinformation being circulated relating to the cost to persons being placed in Government designated quarantine sites.

At present, persons entering the Federation are required to pay a fee of US$500 to assist with the substantial cost associated with the mandatory 14-day quarantine at a monitored site. The need for these sites came about after persons who were asked to quarantine themselves at home breached those quarantine orders, thereby putting persons and the entire country at risk.

Prime Minister Harris said the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) and other hotels accepted the Government’s call to provide designated areas, such as blocks of rooms appropriately suited to serve as quarantine sites.

I am advised that the cost at OTI was negotiated with its owners, the TDC Group of Companies. The cost is US$500 for 14 days and this equates to just over US$35.00 per day,” the prime minister said.

Dr. Harris reaffirmed that there is no profit in this venture for the Government, noting that the full US$500 goes to TDC.

Prime Minister Harris added that the cost of US$35.00 per day for the 14-day quarantine period in St. Kitts and Nevis is relatively small when compared to the fee of US$100 per day people in other countries are asked to pay.

Additionally, the prime minister said his Government bears the costs of electricity and water at the OTI quarantine location.

“Members of the public would recall that OTI was closed. We asked them to open to accommodate us. We are in fact as a Government then subsidizing the stay of everyone who is being quarantined at the OTI hotel. In addition to the water and electricity which we pay, we pay the security there and we have to provide protective equipment for all workers of the Government who are put in service there,” said Prime Minister Harris.

It was further noted that students and persons over the age of 62 years old are generally exempted from payment on request.

Prime Minister Harris said, “We have, for example, brought home by charter students from Cuba and Jamaica at a cost of well over $225,000. We quarantined them, and the Government bore the burden of the cost. We disbursed over $1,000 stipend monthly to students in the United States of America who requested our support. We have done more than any other government to assist our citizens and residents.”

According to the prime minister, arrangements for quarantining at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel and Sugar Bay Club or any other hotel are privately negotiated.

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