Government restricts access to offshore islands

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Access restricted red stamp text on white

Trumpet: Members of the public will no longer have permission to travel to offshore islands for the next 90 days.

This was announced earlier today during the Post Cabinet Press Briefing by the Cabinet Spokesperson Melford Nicholas.

Nicholas who is also the Minister of Information and Technology explained that this move was taken by himself and his fellow Cabinet colleagues after a number of reports have been made indicating that persons are travelling to these off shore islands around Antigua, breaking a number of the protocols stipulated to help mitigate the spread of covid-19.

He explained that this restriction will also apply to tour operators as well.

Nicholas also added that Cabinet also took the decision to revert to limiting the number of persons in attendance at weddings and funerals due to the growing concerns with the number of persons travelling back home for these events and breaking protocols.

 

“These are not regular members of the population. What we have noticed is that persons are returning from abroad for the two events and breaching the quarantine requirements, so, we have to put these barriers up in those two particular instances,” he added.

Weddings will only allow 10 persons to attend while with funerals, only 25 individuals will be allowed to gain access to the burial ground.

Nicholas explained how exactly policing of these events will be done to ensure individuals are abiding by the protocols.

“In the case of the funerals for example, we know that the St. John’s Cemetery is still the main area where interment takes place and we have observed that there has been an increased number of clustering outside the prescribed numbers, so the police force would more than likely get the schedule of funerals from the funeral homes and the churches so they would know ahead of time and in those instances, the mere placing of maybe one or two police officers at the entrance of the cemetery would be efficent to ensure that there is no breach of those particular guidelines,” Nicholas explained.

It was also mentioned that the growing concerns with the overcrowding of persons on public buses will also be looked at.

In fact, government indicated that it is “an immediate objective, and that other systems had to be put in place to ensure that buses carry a safe number that would not result in the community spread of the deadly virus”.

Sanitizing hands and wearing masks on buses are still mandatory for all commuters but more protocols could come on stream in the near future.

There is no word on if Cabinet plans to revert to the initial public transportation protocols they would have implemented last year which saw large buses being restricted to carry 16 passengers and smaller buses nine.

Bus drivers later received the nod to return to full capacity last June.

It was however mentioned that in the hopes of addressing this dilemma, Cabinet is urging the General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board (ABTB) to come to an agreement to reduce taxes on fuel purchased by the bus operators “in order for the buses to operate with a smaller number of passengers, below capacity, but still make an adequate profit”.

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1 COMMENT

  1. All thanks to Gaston son showing is disdain for quarantine and masks. Now the rest of us suffer for his bullshit.

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