Gambia: Minister Empowered to Order People Entering the Gambia to Bear Cost of Their Quarantine

Minister of Health, Dr Ahmadou Samateh has in accordance with the laws of The Gambia promulgated new Regulations which empowers him to order persons entering in The Gambia to bear the cost of their quarantine.

A press release issued by the State House on Friday said following the lapse of the last 7 days State of Public Emergency declared by President Adama Barrow, the COVID-19 pandemic in The Gambia is now governed by Public Health (Dangerous Infectious Diseases) Protection Regulations, 2020.

According to the release, these Regulations have been promulgated by the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr Ahmadou Samateh pursuant to the Public Health Act Cap 40.02 and the Quarantine Act, Cap 42.03 of the Laws of The Gambia.

These Regulations, according to the media release, are made to empower public health authorities apply all necessary health measures geared towards preventing and containing the spread of dangerous infectious diseases, including Corona virus.

Under the Regulations, the Minister is empowered to declare the whole or any part of The Gambia as an infected local area and accordingly restrict or prohibit the movement of persons and vehicles;

order the closure of borders during the period of the restriction on movement, except for the transportation of persons performing essential services or obtaining essential supplies.

He is also empowered to restrict or prohibit mass gatherings of persons and order the temporary closure of public places; construct or designated spaces as quarantine and isolation centres for travelers coming from infected areas;

order persons entering in The Gambia to bear the cost of their quarantine; and

order compulsory wearing of a face mask by all persons in public places.

The Regulations also impose that a person who has reasonable grounds to suspect that he or she has or may have been exposed to a dangerous infectious disease or who becomes aware of a suspected case, are under an obligation to disclose that fact to a health officer; and that all businesses, organisations and transporters, their owners, management and staff, shall also comply with, and implement physical distancing and personal hygiene measures in their establishments.

The Regulations also make it an offence for a person to transmit or disseminate malicious, false or misleading information concerning a dangerous infectious disease, including COVID-19.

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