(CMR) Whilst the courts came under immense scrutiny this week when it was revealed that two people were charged $1,000 for breaching the quarantine measures; it is now understood that is because the Unity Government's Cabinet members had not yet approved the regulations which were passed earlier in the month.
The courts had no legal power to charge the more serious penalty.
The passage comes almost one month after the amendments to the Public Health Law were approved lat month. That law allowed for a $500 per day penalty for ongoing infractions.
This delay meant that Magistrate Foldats could not apply the $10,000 fine to Dr. Pascal and Cristina Gurunian-Terjanian for breaching the provisions numerous times during their brief stay on island at the Regal Beach Club. It was revealed the couple had flagrantly disregarded for the covid restrictions throughout their entire trip.
It was revealed earlier that Cabinet has approved the publication today (Friday, 27 November 2020) of three updated regulations aimed at facilitating the prevention of COVID-19, that increase the penalty for offenses to reflect recently passed legislation.
The newly published regulations include:
- Control of COVID-19 (No. 3) Regulations, 2020;
- Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No. 6) Regulations, 2020; and
- Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (Travel and Boating) (No. 6) Regulations, 2020.
The only substantive change to the regulations is to increase the penalty for offenses to reflect the new maximum penalty under the recently passed Public Health (Amendment) Law, 2020.
While under previous COVID-19 regulations all penalties attracted fines of $1,000 and imprisonment for six months, the amended law allows fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for two years.
With this change now reflected in regulations, the Courts will be able to impose the maximum penalty allowed by law when sentencing offenders.
The regulations take effect on 27 November and expire 31 January 2021.
- Control of Covid-19 (No.3) Regulations, 2020;
- Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No.6) Regulations, 2020; and
- Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (Travel and Boating) (No.6) Regulations, 2020.