Airport to close from Midnight on Thursday

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VC Bird International airport

The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, meeting today at 10:00 am, decided to close the V.C. Bird International airport to all incoming commercial traffic, commencing midnight Thursday March 26, 2020, thereby ending the possibility of flights from the customary North American and European tourism source markets.

This decision expands the announced ban on citizens from several identified countries. Those citizens of those several countries who would have arrived on British Airways, American Airlines and Air Canada, among others, may wish to take advantage of the facility.

Commercial air carriers that choose to fly empty aircraft to Antigua after Thursday, will be allowed to enter in order to collect citizens of their respective countries for return to their originating cities.

While there has been no confirmed cases of community spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the Government’s several ministries have been closely monitoring all developments, here and abroad. Antigua and Barbuda’s borders have remained open to air and sea traffic in order to ensure that workers across the several sectors remain employed.

It has now become evident to the Cabinet, after examining the extant conditions and the disregard displayed by attendees at funerals, that little or no attention is being paid to the announced policy of limited social gatherings of 25 persons. That policy is being violated, despite the severity of the threat of community spread of the coronavirus.

The announced policy of last Sunday, which limits social gatherings to 25 persons, has been disregarded and violated especially by returning nationals who feel a strong urge to re-connect with grieving family and friends. Funerals have served as a means of social expression of love and tenderness. However, the conditions of the spread of the coronavirus have compelled a change in behavior.

Cabinet repeats its determination to safeguard the health of the people of Antigua and Barbuda.

6 COMMENTS

  1. LET’S BE RESPONSIBLE & PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THIS DEADLY VIRUS….. THE GOV’T IS DOING THEIR SHARE, LET’S DO OURS….. THE TIME IS NOT NOW TO THINK SELFISH BUT TO THINK LIKE A GOOD SAMARITAN & ADHERE TO THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRY & PUT INTO EFFECT THE “SOCIAL DISTANCING” EXERCISE ALONG WITH THE OTHER HYGIENIC PRACTICES IN ORDER TO PREVENT A CATASTROPHE IN THIS BEAUTIFUL ISLAND OF OURS…

  2. So let me get this right ….

    You keep the border open long enough for the virus to come in and infect the people Antigua….

    Then you close the border to keep it in…

    Wow this is genius stuff….

    Seem as if whom ever is calling the shots priorities was made clear. Hope you did not miss it “its not a matter of when but if” “community transmission is inevitable”.

    Consider those two quotes carefully, someone was actually telling you what they are going to do to you and your grand parents. Both statements were clear and definitely deliberate….

    Now we wait for what is inevitable because it is not if but when…….

  3. The first phase of the virus is contained in China Europe and the US as they close their borders.the second phase is very much closer to home and that is where serious considerations must given since the virus is now in the region with over 800 confirmed cases and community spreading is active. DR has over 300 cases already, guadalupe 57, Trinidad 57 ,PR 51 etc so the threat is very much alive as Liat,other smaller crafts and sea vessels connect the islands.

  4. “This decision expands the announced ban on citizens from several identified countries.”

    So what other citizens are being banned then? There is no other information from the government even though they hinted at further bans in the statement I quoted above. Many other islands have banned citizens from the UK due to the widespread virus there, and there is of course a possibility of private planes coming in to the country as far as I can tell.

    Could you be a bit more clear government of Antigua & Barbuda? Why not just completely shut the island now so that we can all recover from this faster and be ready for the next season?! Why let private planes come in to spread the virus from the UK?

  5. A letter sent to all of Antigua’s Ministers today:

    Now is the time to act to secure a healthy and economically sustainable future for Antigua and Barbuda.

    Closing VC Bird international airport to commercial traffic was a brilliant decision as all of Antigua’s cases have come from there, but further action needs to be taken. Now is the time to ban all travel from people that have been in the United Kingdom or the United States in the past thirty days. You have done it in the past for other nations, but now the COVID-19 crisis has expanded and it is time to expand travel restrictions. UK nationals and people that have been in the UK in the past 30 days can still come in on private planes, or on LIAT, and they pose a serious threat to the health of the islands. I personally know of several wealthy people planning to try to get in to the nation from the United Kingdom via private jets and flights on LIAT to visit their yachts and homes while putting the population at risk. Please close the gates to further infection.

    With hotels, restaurants, and activities closed and cancelled the economic impact of making this decision now will be miniscule. The faster Antigua can slow the spread of this virus, the sooner economic activity can resume. I am asking you to take further action and expand the list of travellers that won’t be allowed entry, and won’t cause any further strain on the medical system and the people’s health.

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