Dominic Cummings, senior advisor to the British PM, Boris Johnston, decided to go on a cross-country jaunt with his family several months ago, to visit his parents, while the UK was in lockdown. It became the centre of a scandal that still rages about whether rules were for all or just some, especially political figures. His claim was that it was for necessary health and childcare reasons after his wife tested positive for COVID19. But, along with the ‘necessary’ trip, some claimed to have seen him out for a leisurely drive to a tourist hot spot. Though the incident was examined by the police and no infringement found, the public were upset. The matter has resurfaced because other witnesses have come forward to contradict part of the story told and made more formal complaints.
Well, yesterday, a JLP candidate-elect in the general election (August 18 is nomination day) was dumped for not respecting 14-day quarantine rules after travelling abroad:
Admittedly, he was due to contest a seat he was unlikely to win, against Lisa Hanna. It’ll be interesting to see who’s brought in to now contest versus ‘sweetah wi Lisa’. But, the swift action may be political goal to set against the dross of multiple health protocol violations we’ve already seen in the campaign. Violations under the Disaster Risk Management Act can result in 12-months imprisonment or a fine of one million dollars.
Travel abroad came to bite someone else, though less of a public figure. A Jamaican woman is ‘stranded’ in USA, after a shopping jaunt to Florida: she didn’t know she needed authorization to return.
Missus, where have you been the past 5 months? The ‘news’ of her troubles is likely to get little sympathy from Jamaicans, as the trip for school supplies got caught up in a bureaucratic snafu and added cost. Tan ah yu yaad!
These separate incidents come after a flurry of chest-thumping about how enforcement of health protocols needed to be firmer. Well, it’s fitting perhaps that the hammer comes down hard and early on à politician to give a better signal that this is going to be applied evenhandedly. Also, the travel authorization system seems to work without favour.
Such is life, living with COVID19.