As residents who were trapped overseas make their way back home Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Carvin Malone in a statement to the House of Assembly on 11 June disclosed that not all those who applied to return were given clearance.
The Minister told the House that “to date, 681 registrations were submitted with 362 verified by Immigration and cleared for processing by Environmental Health. Sixty-two of the registrations did not meet the requirements established for individuals to re-enter the Territory during Phase 1 of the Restricted Border Re-Opening Plan. “
According to Hon. Malone, of the 362 that have been cleared to re-enter under Phase 1, a quarter of the individuals have re-entered the Territory during the seven days (3 – 9 June). He noted that 83 more nationals are expected to arrive in the Territory by 13 June with 19 of these approved for government quarantine to date.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister mentioned that some emerging issues have been noted in the wake of the return of residents. Hon. Malone said that such issues include discrimination against those returning: “HEOC has flagged several issues related to the mandatory quarantine arrangements for persons who have been cleared to re-enter the Territory since 2 June 2020. Discrimination against and eviction of returning nationals, who are subject to mandatory quarantine, by landlords due to fears and stigma around COVID-19.”
In consideration of the various observations of how the return has proceeded the Minister said that a change in approach is warranted by “The need to limit the number of weekly arrivals based on the available private security complement and the rooms available in the government quarantine facilities,” Hon. Malone explained.