664Connect's Coronavirus (COVI-19) FAQs
664Connect is continuously monitoring and responding to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. These frequently asked questions will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide. For more information, check back regularly on 664Connect’s Coronavirus Page.
Montserrat's COVID-19 Recommendations FAQs
Emergency – All: 911 / 999
Air/Sea Rescue – 911 / 999 or 1 (664) 491 2555/5222 (Police Head Quarters)
Ambulance / Hospital – Glendon Hospital – 1 (664) 491 2802/2552/2836
COVID Hotline (St. Peter’s Flu Clinic) – 1 (664) 491 5346 / 496 9724
Disaster Management Coordination Agency – 1 (664) 491 7166
Electrical Faults – 1 (664) 491 3950
Golden Years – 1 (664) 491-7561 / 491-7255
Water Faults – 1 (664) 491 2538
Fire – 911 or 1 (664) 491 7790
Medical Emergencies – 1 (664) 491 2802 / 2552 / 2836
Police – 911 or 1 (664) 491 2555/6 or 1 (664) 491 5255/3255 (Salem Police Station)
Schools are now closed from March 16, 2020 to April 14, 2020.
The airport and the seaports are closed, with the following exceptions:
- Only Montserratians, are allowed to disembark (arrive) on Montserrat;
- A person arriving for the purpose of aiding in the treatment, control and suppression of COVID19.
- Medical evacuations
- Courier (postal) services
You can contact the Montserrat Access Division on 1 (664) 496-6229) for more travel advice.
There is a ban on all public gatherings as of Saturday, 28th March 2020 a 24 hour curfew has been placed on Montserrat. This means that you are not permitted outside of your premises 24 hours a day from the 6pm 28th March to the 14th April 2020 at 12am.
Please see our Curfew FAQs below.
Statutory Rules & Orders 22 of 2020 states the following:
A large means a gathering of more than 4 persons.
A large gathering for a social, spiritual or recreational activity, including but not limited to community event, civic event, public event, leisure event, faith based event, sporting event, parade, concert, festival, convention, fund-raiser or similar activity is prohibited.
Statutory Rules & Orders 22 of 2020 states the following:
The prohibition of large gatherings does not apply to:
- Customs airport and a customs port if the purpose of the large gathering is for the embarkment or disembarkment of passengers;
- A funeral;
- The business place of an essential service provider;
- The business place of an essential business provider;
- A gathering for the purpose of a funeral may be a gathering of a maximum of 15 (fifteen) persons.
- As far as reasonably possible a person at a gathering shall maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from another person.
No, it does not, but these service providers are required to ensure that their employees and customers are able to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from another person.
The curfew last for 24 hours each day from Saturday, 28th March at 6:00 p.m. until Tuesday, 14th April 2020 at 12 a.m.
The curfew applies to Every Person in Montserrat.
A Person is expected to remain at home, this includes the yard, or garden etc. of your place of residence/occupancy.
Only 1 person per household, is allowed to leave the home once a day to :
- Work as essential service worker (this includes travelling to and from work);
- Work as an essential business (this includes travelling to and from work);
- Assist, transport or provide an ancillary service for an essential worker;
- Seek medical care;
- Shop for necessities to include food, medicine, fuel or other necessity. However, only one person from each household may be in the public place for this purpose. Additionally, the person shall not be in the public place more than once daily for this purpose.
- Go to the bank or conduct a money transfer at western union or MoneyGram;
- Care for a family, vulnerable person or pet;
- Engage in an activity to include walking, biking, hiking or swimming either alone or in a gathering that is no larger than 4 persons; from 5 am to 8 am or 3 pm to 6 pm. BUT these activities must not be done with a person from another household so as to prevent cross-infection between different households (community transmission).
- Arrive into Montserrat by ferry or airplane, BUT you must get home within 2 hours of arriving in Montserrat;
- To transport someone who has arrived into Montserrat by ferry or airplane, BUT you must get residence/place of occupancy within two hours of transporting the person.
- To leave Montserrat, BUT you must not leave your place of residence/home or occupancy before 4 am.;
- To transport a person who is leaving Montserrat, BUT you must not leave your place of residence or occupancy/home before 4 am.
NB. The members of the public are required to stay at home.
Statutory Rules & Orders 22 of 2020 states the following:
Isolation means the removal to a hospital or suitable place approved by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of a person infected with or suspected to be infected with COVID-19, and his detention at the hospital or other suitable place, until in the opinion of the Medical Officer, he is no longer infected with COVID-19.
Statutory Rules & Orders 22 of 2020 states the following:
Self-quarantine means staying at one’s place of residence away from other persons for the purpose of observing and monitoring one’s health for the development of COVID-19 symptoms.
Statutory Rules & Orders 22 of 2020 states the following:
A public place includes public highway, street, road, square, court, alley, land, bridle-way, footway, parade, wharf, jetty, quay, bridge, public garden, open space, and every theatre, place of public entertainment of any kind, or other place of general resort, admission to which is obtained by payment or to which the public has access,
- air traffic (including meteorological, telecommunication, security, fire and crash services connected with airports) services;
- fire, prison, defence force or police services;
- medical, health, hospital, infirmary or nursing home services;
- telecommunications or broadcasting services;
- water, electricity (Montserrat Utilities Ltd.) or sanitation services;
- immigration, customs or postal services;
- services connected with sittings of the Legislative Assembly and meetings of Cabinet;
- services connected with the loading and unloading of ships and with the storage and delivery of goods at, or from a dock, wharf or warehouse operated in connection with the dock or wharf. NB. This does not include services such as sand mining;
- public services connected with the payment of salaries, pensions and other benefits, in government departments, agencies; statutory bodies and arms-length bodies;
- services connected with the Judiciary;
- services connected with essential government functions as determined by the Deputy Governor;
- airport, seaport, civil aviation or ferry services;
- a service that is granted permission to offer an essential service (By the Minister of Health)
- services of a bakery;
- services connected with fisheries;
- a food delivery service, by a person or business that is granted permission to operate as a food delivery service. The permission must be granted by the Minister of Health in writing.
- a service deemed to be an essential service. In this case, the Minister of Health, may in writing deem a service to be an ‘essential service’.
Essential businesses or services allowed to operate are as follows:
- A Banking Business – which is allowed to open from 8 am to 12 pm
- A Doctor’s Office – which is allowed to open from 8 am to 6 pm
- A Grocery Store, An Agricultural Produce Business or A Pharmacy – which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm. BUT only one person from each household is allowed to be out for the purpose of going to the grocery store, pharmacy or market.
- A Gas Station – which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm
- A Bakery – which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm
- A Business Connected With Fisheries – which is allowed to open 2 am to 7 pm
- As An Undertaker – which is allowed to open for 24 hours
- A Money Transfer Business – which is allowed to open from 8 am to 6 pm.
- A Business or Organisation that is granted permission (by the Minister of Health) to operate.
*For the avoidance of doubt a bar, nightclub, restaurant, cook-shop (or any similar shop) barber shop, hair salon; insurance business or similar business is not an essential business.
NOTES TO BE GUIDED BY:
- Most of the essential services are Governmental services and services provided by statutory bodies – Water and Electricity services means (MUL).
- An essential business supplier is a business place whose main business is to provide one of the essential business outlined.
- Eg. Grocery – if your main business is to sell groceries retail or wholesale then your business is an essential service.
- Telecommunications – The telecommunications service providers – i.e. Flow and DIGICEL not a store that sells or repairs phones.
- Fisheries – Fishermen
- Agricultural services – this means Farmers and individuals who sell agricultural produce.
- Banking Business – Commercial Bank, Credit Union, Building Society
- Money Transfer Business – Money Gram and Western Union
NO. The public buses and taxis are not permitted to run at this time– The concern is that a person is at great risk of contracting the virus if they travel in public transportation.
A non essential business or service provides is expected to stop operating on Saturday, 28 March at 6 pm until Tuesday, 14th April 2020.
The Minister of Health may give a person, business, organisation or Department written permission to: –
- operate as an essential business provider
- offer an essential service
- Assess the size of their premises and determine the number of people that may be permitted in the premises allowing for one person ever 30 square feet.
- Limit the number of persons permitted to enter your establishment to ensure that persons can maintain a distance of 6 feet between themselves and the next person.
- Place markings at the checkout point to ensure that customers remain 6ft apart from the customers in front of them.
- Place markers outside your store to ensure that the customers who are waiting to enter your premises can maintain a distance of 6 feet between themselves and the next person.
- The service providers are expected to put the necessary systems in place to control the numbers coming into their premises.
- The Public is also asked to comply with the measures that have been put in place by the Service Providers and to ensure that they comply with the requirement to stay at least 6 feet away from the next person.
- a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for three months OR
- both a fine and imprisonment AND
- in the case of a second or subsequent offence to a fine of $1,000 or to imprisonmentfor a term of six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
The curfew ends on the 14th April 2020 at 12am.
Caribbean Reference Lab, CARPHA Trinidad is the regional, accredited laboratory designated for testing samples from Montserrat.
- Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.
- There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus. No vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 has been approved yet for this disease; care is supportive. In other words, medication is given for the symptoms, for example if someone has a headache and fever -paracetamol will be given/recommended.
- Testing results may be helpful to inform decision-making about who was in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Detect confirmed cases/clusters of COVID-19 infection, and any evidence of amplified or sustained human-to-human transmission;
- Determine risk factors and the geographic risk area(s) for infection with the virus.
- Persons identified as high risk and showing signs of infection are likely to be tested. Some persons showing no signs and symptoms may also be tested, if the doctor determines their risk of exposure to be high. High risk persons are those known to have come into contact with the virus either through contact with an infected individual, or who has travelled from a country with a high rate of COVID-19 infection.
- Persons who are exhibiting clear signs of infection but identified as low risk may also be tested. Sometimes a persons’ contact with the virus cannot be determined, however if they are showing signs and symptoms they are likely to be tested.
Testing also depends on the availability of tests. Globally test kits are in short supply; doctors are therefore cautioned to avoid unnecessary testing.
Please also note that laboratories reserve the right to not test a sample sent to them, if they determine that the sample does not meet the case definition (criteria) for testing.
If someone is symptomatic but is not considered to be in a vulnerable category, will they still be tested and quarantined?
All persons thought to be exposed to the virus will be quarantined whether or not they are showing symptoms.
Depending on demand on the laboratory, testing time can range from as little as 48hrs, or up to 7 days. The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS)is working with technical partners to try to increase the island’s capability and capacity for rapidly testing for COVID-19.
Since border closures, samples are sent to the laboratory via Regional Security System (R.S.S). The R.S.S was established in the 1980s to safeguard Caribbean member states from threats to national security and to provide assistance in times of crisis and emergency.
At present there is zero cost to persons who may need testing if suspected to have COVID-19. The MoHSS will conduct the tests at no charge for all residents who require testing.
664Connect is continuously monitoring and responding to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and in doing so, we have composed these FAQs that apply to the virus itself.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. See previous answer on “How does COVID-19 spread?”
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.
The risk of catching COVID-19 from the faeces of an infected person appears to be low. While initial investigations suggest the virus may be present in faeces in some cases, spread through this route is not a main feature of the outbreak. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share new findings. Because this is a risk, however, it is another reason to clean hands regularly, after using the bathroom and before eating.
Protection measures for everyone
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
- Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading
- Follow the guidance outlined above (Protection measures for everyone)
- Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low grade fever (37.3 C or above) and slight runny nose, until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g. to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people.
Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
- If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
The risk depends on where you are – and more specifically, whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak unfolding there.
For most people in most locations the risk of catching COVID-19 is still low. However, there are now places around the world (cities or areas) where the disease is spreading. For people living in, or visiting, these areas the risk of catching COVID-19 is higher. Governments and health authorities are taking vigorous action every time a new case of COVID-19 is identified. Be sure to comply with any local restrictions on travel, movement or large gatherings. Cooperating with disease control efforts will reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
COVID-19 outbreaks can be contained and transmission stopped, as has been shown in China and some other countries. Unfortunately, new outbreaks can emerge rapidly. It’s important to be aware of the situation where you are or intend to go. WHO publishes daily updates on the COVID-19 situation worldwide.
You can see these at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.
We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.
Learn more about how to protect yourself at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings are available.
Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19.
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing. (See Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus).
No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 are related to each other genetically, but the diseases they cause are quite different.
SARS was more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19. There have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.
WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and mis-use of masks (see Advice on the use of masks).
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing. See basic protective measures against the new coronavirus for more information.
- Remember, a mask should only be used by health workers, care takers, and individuals with respiratory symptoms, such as fever and cough.
- Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
- Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes.
- Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is).
- Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side).
- Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
- Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin.
- After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask.
- Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use.
- Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.
The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. Occasionally, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people. For example, SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed.
To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Ensure good food safety practices at all times. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.
While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.
WHO continues to monitor the latest research on this and other COVID-19 topics and will update as new findings are available.
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
The following measures ARE NOT effective against COVID-2019 and can be harmful:
- Wearing multiple masks
- Taking antibiotics (See question 10 “Are there any medicines of therapies that can prevent or cure COVID-19?“)
In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.
Montserrat Coronavirus News & Updates
For the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) news, guidance and updates visit the 664Connect’s Coronavirus Page.
If you are experiencing flu like symptoms, contact the St. Peter’s clinic on 1 (664) 491-5436/ 496-9724. If it is an emergency please contact Glendon Hospital on 1 (664) 491-2802 / 2552 / 2836.
The guidance provided on this page was derived from Montserrat’s Government Information Unit and the World Health Organisation.