Government And The Political Parties Agree Antigua Should Not Close Its Border

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The government, as well as the leader of the political parties, agreed that it was in Antigua’s best interest to not close the border.

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the Leader of the United Progressive Party, the Leader of the Barbuda People’s Movement, the Leader of the Democratic National Alliance, and the former Prime Minister, Mr. Baldwin Spencer, were invited to Cabinet to address their concerns over the Coronavirus crisis.

The Chairman of Cabinet, Prime Minister Browne, gave a general overview of the policies adopted by the administration since the outbreak and asked the heads of the parties if they were in agreement with NOT closing Antigua and Barbuda’s borders.

According to Hurst, the leaders of the three parties all agreed that it was not possible for Antigua and Barbuda to close its borders because of the high dependence on tourism and imports.

The Leader of the UPP voiced concerns over twelve issues: elder care facilities; the need for special clothing by janitors and cleaners and CBH/Solid Waste sanitation workers; provision of daily updates, local and international; keeping aggregate demand moving; seeking a moratorium from banks of 90 to 180 days; seeking to keep APUA from carrying out disconnections; implementing a credit guarantee program; checking on the cleanliness of trucks carrying potable water; daily disinfecting the city’s streets.

On each one of his voiced issues, the Prime Minister intervened to explain that the administration had already moved on addressing them. There was, therefore, a similarity in the thinking of both government and opposition. The issues were national and not political, it was agreed.

The Leader of the DNA addressed water shortage and water availability in certain parts of the country, requiring a revised rationing schedule by the APUA; she urged the use of protective gear and clothing by those frontline staff who must interact with members of the public who could be carriers of the Coronavirus; staff at the MBS and at the Court House where she observed first-hand their exposure.

The DNA leader also addressed the situation of Clarevue Hospital and the Fiennes Institute, both of which house very vulnerable groups, therefore requiring a no-visitation policy certainly for the next two weeks; the Leader also argued that funerals ought not be more than 50 persons and that employees of the Government ought to be urged to stay away from those events; the large number of asthmatic children ought not to be neglected since they are at risk, the DNA Head emphasized.

The Minister of Health assured the Leader that each of her issues had already been addressed or was in the process of being tackled.

The Leader of the Barbuda People’s Movement also addressed Cabinet, noting that Barbuda cannot seal its borders either and that many yachts and pleasure boats were anchored off Barbuda’s shores because the island was safe from the virus.

He noted that Barbudans are required to come over to Antigua to purchase necessaries and to undertake banking; both activities put them in touch with persons resident on Antigua. There was a short debate concerning a closure for 7 days; the illegality of that request was clearly pointed out.

The Barbuda Representative noted that he was satisfied with the collaboration that was taking place with the Ministry of Health Officials.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. The biggest threat to the island is the importation of Covid-19!

    Whilst you’re playing Russian Roulette with the people, thankfully the actions of other nations, namely those that are restricting travel, and airlines that have been grounded, will mean a reduced amount of travellers into A&B. You talk about the high dependence of tourism, but maybe you need to think ahead to what that will look like if this thing takes hold and spreads like wild-fire in a country that doesn’t have huge capabilities. There will be no tourism industry as we will be playing catch-up for God knows how long.

    The number of new infections in the worst affected areas of Asia are now being reduced due to initial quarantine and border controls. The largest number of new cases in those areas, is now nationals returning and bringing the virus back into those communities.

    Commercial imports yes. Tourism… Not right now!

  2. This is a national emergency and requires the cooperation of all. The fight is being led by the People’s Government, and must be supported by all opposition groups. Forget the politics. Now is not the time. GOD SAVE OUR LAND!

  3. All the concerns of the Opposition Parties are already addressed. In my opinion this meeting was NOT necessary. The Opposition Parties are just GRANDSTANDING. I am happy that Hon. Gaston Browne gave the Opposition parties a stage to perform. All Their concerns are already in action. Hon Gaston Browne and ABLP care about ANTIGUANS and BARBUDANS.

  4. Gaston already had everything under control. Poor Lovell was so out of his element. Sad to see. The poor guy is beaten and bruised, kicked to the curb over and over again, rejected by the People.

  5. Why these fools continue to rain terror on us poor people. Close the motherf*^$ing border. what aryou go do wait till people start dropping like flies😷😒😡

    • @Blessed

      The borders are already closed not by our poor decision but by default because most countries has closed theirs.

      UPP will never take control of this country again. Gaston catch them, wrap them up, and spit them out.

      Only a weak failing opposition will side with the government. Gaston laughing into the next election.

      They got the mandate, they have all the answers, they make all the decisions…..Why sit at the table and you have no say….Gaston out smart UPP again

      They might as well apply for membership or do like Newton, Namba, Joseph, Cort, Williams, and all the others…

  6. You folks do remember the movie Jaws, let’s not Close the Beaches
    We need the Tourist.

    By all means bring in as much a your hospital’s can handle

  7. Mr. PM be advice that if something should go wrong and I am praying that NOTHING goes wrong, all those names that are mentioned are going to come after you and the ABLP government and are the people’s of Antigua Barbuda. As I see it you are the man at helm you and your cabinet should be making these decisions.

  8. @ MELCHISEDEC

    You are correct !!!! KINDLY MOVE TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS !!!!! Hon. Gaston Browne out smart the UPP again. Why sit with the ruling party ? From the Photo I saw….Baldwin Spencer , Joanne Messiah , Harold Lovell , Trevor Walker and Jamal Pringle look out of place. They look very sad. They should not attend this meeting. Gaston Browne started to implement all Their suggestions . MELCHISEDEC…..I really applaud you. You should have been an Advisor to Harold Lovell and the UPP They really need help. All the moves the UPP made so far are very sad. Also agree with you that UPP will never see power in this Country again. UPP SAD bunch of People.

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