PM concerned over ‘high risk’ classification


Pointe Xpress: Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he is concerned about a recent Barbados travel advisory which has classified Antigua and Barbuda as a ‘high risk’ COVID-19 country.

Barbados placed Antigua and Barbuda and 13 other countries on a list of countries whose nationals are at high risk of carrying the coronavirus.

The categorisation will affect persons from these countries wishing to enter Barbados effective November 3.

PM Browne is of the opinion that the classification was made without evidence to support the claim. Browne said that Antigua and Barbuda has been collaborating and cooperating at the regional and international levels with COVID-19 guidelines.

He said he is not aware of any reason as to why the government of Barbados would want to place Antigua and Barbuda in this category.

“So I am not aware that there is any enmity. Yes, we had a difference over LIAT, but that issue has passed and I think we both understand that we have to continue to work together in the interest of the region, and I know some people are concerned and I am too about the recent classification of Antigua and Barbuda as a high risk country,” Browne said.

Browne admitted that the Mia Mottley administration did not have an obligation to consult with Antigua and Barbuda before issuing the travel advisory and classification.

He said, however, that justification for doing so must be provided. The prime minister said that the Caribbean Public Health Agency’s (CARPHA’s) categorisation of a low risk state is one with less than 20 active cases.

The United States has implemented its own standard which states that countries with less than 10 active COVID-19 cases are considered to be low risk. At present Antigua and Barbuda has recorded 130 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has only nine active cases.

Prime Minister Browne believes, therefore that there is justification for Barbados’s classification of Antigua and Barbuda.

“In any case we will put it down as an oversight. I know that some people are speculating it may be done out of spite, but we do not hold that position. We expect that all leaders within the region to operate with the level of maturity and probity that they would not utilize the state apparatus to be turned into a form of dishonesty or indecency. So we maintain that it must be an oversight,” said Prime Minister Browne.

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  1. Did he actually make a public statement related to travel that used America as a COVID measuring stick?

    It is mindless analogies like these that will continue to result in “The Tourism Sector Feeling the Effects of COVID”. Airlines nah stop delay returns until this dude gets a clue. Bout ‘Merica. Ah wha deh joke ya tarl.
    Find another country, please.

    • HE talked about the measure being used in the US to determine country level of risk. In case you are unaware their measure impacts us since it could mean US tourists on returning back home would have to quarantine. This of course could cause persons to reconsider whether they wish to visit anu. Take Saint lucia, the US currently rates them at level 1 (low risk) Yet they rate ANU at level 3 (high). Interesting thing is currently there are some 74 active covid cases in SLU vs 9 in ANU. Domina with 22 active cases is rates at medium risk by CDC. Seems that something else other than health information guides these risk rankings

      • I am quite aware of the impact America’s handling of COVID has had on many things, including my ability to return to Antigua. There are many other countries that have faired much better than America that could be used as a measuring stick for COVID guidelines.
        Given all travelers desirous of travelling to Antigua are not in America, it may be advantageous to use a different measuring stick seeing as this one continuously leaves the country short. Perhaps a longer stick, that has been proven effective.

  2. Knows that if you let in tens of thousands of people from high risk areas and you neither quarantine them nor test most of them that your country is probably teaming with infected persons.

    Just because you’ve decided to test very few people to keep the numbers looking low doesn’t mean youre fooling anybody.

    The US called your bluff and not so did Barbados and the other travel bubble islands.

    They are protecting their people. Give it a try.

  3. Maybe they don’t trust our bracelet for returning citizens only mad policy which leaves the side window and backdoor open.

  4. Call a spade a spade all this nonsense comes from the liat issue. Mr PM you might think that there is no enmity but there is, why is the Mia Mottley administration picking on Antigua and Barbuda? They tried bullying the PM but he wasn’t having it seems like they are out for round 2 .

  5. Gaston just bex he can’t bully and lie to to people of Barbados like he does to us and get the votes.

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