Committee Says It’s Time To Reopen Borders

The Economic Recovery Committee (ERC), made up of fifteen of the smartest men and women leaders from different sectors within the Antigua and Barbuda economy, and chaired by Prime Minister Gaston Browne, met virtually for the fourth consecutive meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, from 3:00 pm until nearly 6:00 pm.
The ERC unanimously agreed that the time had arrived to re-open the borders of Antigua and Barbuda on June 1, 1010, allowing airlines to return and hotels to begin receiving guests.
On March 26, 2020, or exactly two months earlier, Antigua and Barbuda’s borders were closed to international traffic. The V.C. Bird International Airport and the St. John’s Harbour would not receive airplanes and ships because of the Covid-19 global pandemic. The economy of Antigua and Barbuda ground to a halt as the hotels closed their doors and more than 4,500 workers were laid-off temporarily.
The restaurants, shops, vending kiosks, bars and other places of entertainment were also closed, putting many more additional workers out of an income. Taxi drivers and bus operators were adversely affected as a curfew imposed limited travel, and reduced significantly the demand for transport services.
After two months of decline, the time has arrived to reset the economy and to place it on a path of growth, the ERC declared.
The Prime Minister requested each member of the ERC to indicate if there was any disagreement or if there was unanimity. The 15 participants all agreed that opening the economy on June 1 met with unanimous approval.
On June 4, 2020, American Airlines will fly from Miami to Antigua, arriving at about 11:00 pm. The crew and aircraft will overnight in Antigua, and return the following day at about 2:00 pm. The bookings indicate that more than 75% of the passengers arriving on June 4, 2020, are likely to be nationals of Antigua and Barbuda. A trickle of tourists will also be on board.
New protocols have been articulated for both groups, involving quarantine and testing, using rapid tests that are 87% accurate.
The ERC expressed the view that a return to normalcy is desired as Antigua and Barbuda moves to a Covid-free status. Only one person remains infected in Antigua and Barbuda. The ERC also recognizes that infected persons may travel to Antigua at some time in the future; however, the infrastructure to handle and effectively deal with all such cases has now been operationalized.

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    • Yeah but it will be opened the day after and the day before. The one day closed causes you to ignore the fact that its open all other days (except public holidays)? You are the cup is 5% empty type of person?

  1. 15 of the smartest men and women in Antigua.They were unanimous in their decisions making to reopen the Country.People do not drop your guard when going out.Wear your masks,wear disposable gloves if needed and wash your hands at all times.Do not touch your faces with dirty hands.I am not an expert so do not cuss me.I just listened to those in the medical profession known as experts.

  2. Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” – Yeats, The Second Coming!

    “… fifteen of the smartest men and women leaders from different sectors within the Antigua and Barbuda economy,” an amalgamation of Wise WoMen, Buccaneers, Privateers and Titans of Industry, fused and chaired by Prime Minister Gaston Browne have spoken! They have ordained that the People of African Descent must return to the fields of dreams built on North Atlantic Buccaneer and Privateer Hospitality, Tourism and Yachting to toil, till, plant and produce the harvest to make Antigua and Barbuda including Redonda “an Economic Powerhouse in the Caribbean!” So Let It Be Said! So Let It Be Written! So Let It Be Done! As GoAB lurches from “Entrepreneurial Socialism” to “Empowerment Capitalism” who am I to blow against the winds of Change ushering the Rapid Revenue Recovery Heralded in The Second Coming!

    Have Mercy Pon Us!

    Rapid Revenue Recovery should be guided by a rigorous process of Prioritization which GoAB has initiated! It should be driven by a clear understanding of not only the starting point but the end game! All of the economic models to date expect at best, that the North Atlantic recovery will be at the earliest in the second quarter of 2021 and for the pessimistic the third quarter of 2022! Clearly GoAB is acting with urgency in launching the opening, which in essence runs counter to the economic and environmental cycles, the socio-cultural pulsations, and is counting on the Golden Goose of Tourism, Hospitality and Yachting as the biggest and readiest initiatives, to accomplish incredible things in a short period of time that would have seemed impossible just three months earlier! Given that this is a customer driven initiative, it is expected that as has been outlined in UWI’s Strategy on Agility, GoAB and its partners in this North Atlantic Enterprise Alliance will begin efforts to transform the Industry with enhanced agility in pursuit of opportunities for the People of African Descent to become players and not mere onlookers and service workers!

    “When black people view themselves as centered and central in their own history then they see themselves as agents, actors, and participants rather than as marginals on the periphery of political or economic experience. Using this paradigm, human beings have discovered that all phenomena are expressed in the fundamental categories of space and time. Furthermore, it is then understood that relationships develop and knowledge increases to the extent we are able to appreciate the issues of space and time.” – Dr Molefi Kete Asante, African-American Professor, Temple University: Afrocentricity, The Theory of Social Change! (1/2)

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “We know what needs to be done to diversify the economies, to reduce vulnerability, to increase resilience, to promote production integration, to foster innovation, to reduce food and energy dependency. I do not have time to list them all.” – Norman Girvan, From Independence To Globalised Colonialism, JUNE 5, 2011!

      In this the International Decade For people of African Descent 2015 -2024 with “Covid & Rona” running wantonly about, spreading fear, calamities, death and destruction of economies, is this the time for creating a “Bubble” over the OECS and Barbados and bringing about major transformation! Just a thought – given how relatively well the OECS has handled the outbreak of “Covid & Rona”, why is Antigua and Barbuda, the OECS and Barbados not using a “Pilot Period” of opening their borders to each other before inviting the North Atlantics whose case loads, of infections and death, are so horrendous!

      “He who feeds you, controls you.” Capitaine Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, The Upright Man, revolutionary, pan-Africanist theorist, and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987! The Historical lessons have taught everyone on the Rock that you will never get the economical environment right unless the political climate is free from the intrigues and vagaries of from Planter to Privateer class!

      186 years from Emancipation, 69 years from Adult Suffrage, 53 years from Statehood in Association, 39 years of Independence, People of African Descent still see “Planters and Privateers” as the ruling Business class, in the highest power positions of Antigua and Barbuda from Education to Diplomacy! From “Scot’s Row” to the “Golden Mile,” the Transformation, joyously touted by, not only the previous well intentioned Finance Minister but also by the present nimble and “pragmatic” Finance Minister and the Black elites, communicates the “Stark Realities” to People of African Descent! “Why should a man suffer so grievously for an offence he committed inadvertently? But although he thought for a long time he found no answer. He was merely led into greater complexities.” – Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart!

      For Purposes of Worldwide Coronavirus Statistics, the Caribbean and Central American States are regionally grouped in with the Big Three North American Free Trade States of Canada, Mexico and the US! The Big Three Free Trade States have closed their Borders to each other until June 22, 2020! Do They Know Something Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and the OECS Doesn’t!

      LIAT is funded by GoAB and the other Major Shareholders of Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica! It’s teetering on the brink! Many Caribbean Destinations Governments do not compensate LIAT for either empty seats or safe delivery of their nationals, goods and services! Why not use this golden opportunity to lower not only the taxes and but also the fares, to promote travel and regional tourism as “Covid and Rona” stealthily stalks the worldwide!

      American Airlines is a private enterprise! It will get a bailout of some $5.8bn US from The Don and is expected to ask for a loan of a further $4.8bn US! Caribbean Destinations Governments compensate American Airlines for its empty seats! Will AA be First In, Last Out!

      Friends, CountryWoMen, Rastas, thanks for your indulgence, forbearance and to “pity my simplicity!”

      “What is any better than operating and acting out of our own collective interest? What is any greater than seeing the world through our eyes? What resonates more with people than understanding that we are central to our history, not someone else’s? If we can, in the process of materializing our consciousness, claim space as agents of progressive change, then we can change our condition and change the world.” – Dr Molefi Kete Asante, African-American Professor, Temple University: Afrocentricity, The Theory of Social Change! (2/2)

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