Returning nationals spread COVID-19 at recent weddings and funerals: PM Browne


Prime Minister Gaston Browne said several returning nationals spread the coronavirus to family members when they came home for weddings and funerals in December and January.


On Saturday, Browne told Pointe Fm, “The contact tracers have confirmed a previous observation that we made that the returning national represented the most significant threat to the entire nation in terms of the spread of COVID.”


He said the government warned the citizens and residents not to expose themselves to returning nationals before completing their quarantine.


“Unfortunately, many of our citizens and residents did not heed our advice and today, we are literally paying the price while many of those returning nationals, they are now back in the US. They are not even here to share the burden with us’, The Prime Minister said.


“During the yuletide season, we had in the region of about 1200 returning nationals who were self-quarantining”, Browne said.


He added many of them “violated the quarantines. In fact, a few funerals as well during that period, and some of the returning nationals, they literally beat the system.”


“Apparently, when they came through the airport, they told health officials that they were staying at certain Airbnb properties, and it turned out that was not the case. They were going to live with relatives and friends in the various communities”, he explained.


The  Prime Minister revealed that health authorities traced significant spread from “a particular wedding that took place in December and then subsequently sometime in January again a famous funeral in which the family members, they returned to Antigua for the funeral and they did not complete the 14-day quarantine.”


Bowne said, “the problem is that their family members then spread the virus to different institutions. I mean, there was one school that was affected, there’s at least a doctor who would have contracted it, and when they did the contact tracing, it’s going right back to those individuals who came from abroad and participated in that funeral.”


“When we mention these things, it’s based on literally empirical evidence. I mean, we’re not gonna call names, we’re not trying to shame anyone here, we’re just trying to share information with the public as to how the virus could spread,” Browne said.


“People can literally spread the virus, unknowingly, and cause illness and even death for their loved ones,” the Prime Minister added.


“When that happens, you know, they’re in denial, and they say oh, it’s not true, that we’re fabricating stories but what we say here is always factual, but again I just hope that our people will be a little more vigilant,” he concluded.


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  1. Avatar photo Wait wait you don't want to call names and shame anyone ? I think last week there was a young lady named Jarvis she broke her quarantine and was named and fined 10.000 dollars but you don't want to shame people from the famous funeral Wow !

    That’s certainly criminal and selfish for anyone to do that . Did the members from the famous funeral got arrested and brought before the court fined and threatened with jail time which is so commonly done . SOMETIMES I REALLY TRY TO LOOK AT YOU IN AN OBJECTIVE AND FAIR WAY BUT , YOU LOOSE ME EVERYTIME .

    • Excuse my grammar , spelling or any typographical errors u may encounter because alyou know me noh too bright
      How ironic that YOU MR PRIME MINISTER didn’t want to name and shame any one when millions of dollars were missing from customs department which it is alleged could have caused the demise of high ranking officers of that department of ur ministry, and yet you basically named members of my family blaming them for the spreading of COVID 19. How the hell did u arrive at that ? My moms funeral was since the 7th of last month And all my family members all came in in due time (with their test done mark you )in time to be cleared to attend and had already left.your spike basically has almost just started and u chatting all kinds of erratic shit?
      Why you don’t address rude ass childish son on boat without mask boasting about no rules ? And is only returning nationals alone bringing COVID? You talk like a fool nothing more nothing less
      Wat about yachts that come into port and the planes of tourist that are not compelled to quarantine like the locals have to
      You blaming locals for everything when it is you and your magnified greed that is the cause of our spike U GUNNING FIR THE TOURIST DOLLAR so giving them free reign to roam among us and blaming locals nothing better is expected from u though your mouth goes like a loose CANON

    • Read the part when he said they nationals has since returned to the USA, should the execute an extradition order to bring them back and charge them?

      • @i-man…😀😀😀😀da wan yah pull de choke pan me. #PULL UP! Cud U possibly rewind – SCRATCH – pull it again! 😀😀😀😀

  2. Funny he feels the need to speak about this particular issue right now. Wouldn’t be trying to shift the blame from his own government’s disastrous policy on allowing tourists to roam freely over the island? And why isn’t he trying to do something about the actual crisis unfolding instead of making excuses for his government and blaming nationals?

  3. Just can’t stop blaming citizens for a problem he caused by letting thousands of tourists from high disease countries enter Antigua with no restrictions, no testing and no quarantining

    This guy needs to go.

    Takes absolutely no responsibility for the mess he created

  4. How many tourists? 20,000 or 30,000 or more?

    This guy is so transparent.

    They have absolutely no real protocols with regard to tourists and refused to ban flights from high COVID areas

    He mocked countries with real protocols

    And everyone knew what was coming – a catastrophe in Antigua

    Now the moron responsible is still blaming his fellow citizens and his greedy corrupt self

  5. Sha, Mr. prime minister. If you had better quarantine mechanism in place then this could have been avoided in many instances.
    Not saying that individuals are blameless….not at all. Everyone should be responsible and adhere to stipulated protocols and regulations. However, we know how human nature is : you give a foot and people will find every least way to circumvent the rules. Poilitrickians know this very well because it is part and foremost of their profession. So stop the bemoaning crocodile tears, Mr. Prime minister. If your government would just spend the money to ensure a more full proof quarantine system, then we could avoid some of this mess.
    I take notice also, that you are so quick to blame returning nationals. It is left to assume that the tourists are totally innocent in regards to disregarding our covid-19 protocols and regulations. The Righteous Judge will hear this case one day soon.
    Stop the blaming game and do the work that you are being paid to do.

    People: the choice is ours — good or evil. Right or Wrong ! Choose which way you will this day. There is no middle ground. This is simply how life works. We just cannot have it both ways. It is IMPOSSIBLE ! is it that we prefer to enjoy the fleeting pleasures for a moment; then suffer, endangering others at the same time or we would rather adhere to common sense practices and ensure that the consequences are beneficial for all ?
    As I always say: God will NEVER FORCE HIS WILL ONTO MANKIND. We are made free moral beings and that will not taken from us. The point is, once we make the choice, then prepare to deal with the consequences. That is the simple truth of life.

    Wake up, my people. Hope knocks at the door. Hope calls for sacrifices that we must make but the end result is GLORIOUS !


  6. I don’t know how I feel about this article. So some returning nationals pretended to be tourist and were not quarantined? So the recent rise in cases were from those specific tourist and not the ones (non Nationals) that actually stayed in hotels? Oh ok. How about requiring all entering Antigua to have a negative test within 72 hours of travel and test upon arrival as well. Quarantine until results. 2 negatives test results – 5 days or so in quarantine. Positive result – Full quarantine protocols in effect with a prayer. A negative result for release. Is the root cause of the spread really returning residences? If this wedding and funeral scenario is indeed true, shame on them. If not, the accusations will create a negative narrative for all returning residents. You know how we are, even if they have completed the full quarantine timeframe, there is going to be that % of the population that thinks that all returning nationals are Covid positive. Which is just horrible. Anyway, they might have to travel around Antigua with their 2 negative results, flight info to show that they have completed their quarantine period and vaccine card if applicable. Accountability these days is non existent. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and social distance if you can. Stay safe.

  7. Government is the reason why we are in this state, allowing tourist from high risk countries with biased protocols they put in place.

    When the cases are low the government is doing a good job they won’t say the people are doing a good job, when the cases rise they blame the people, the government should get all the blame also. They want good credit but not the bad

    I would like to know what are the wicked doing to stay safe through this pandemic, so many of them around the world and all of them seems immune to the virus if they catch it they recover miraculously or have mild symptoms but they are there to suppress the people with them false love and care with the laws them put in place

    Them care for your health when covid is concerned, no other sickness, but not how and when you eat and your financial situation. A parent that doesnt feed their children but only take them to the hospital when they are sick is that love or deception?

    People need to open their eyes and realize they dont care about our well being, strictly control, letting in the virus blame the locals. “We have to learn to live with covid a extremely greedy man once said but they set rules to mess with our livelihoods without any measures to assist the needy only care about feeding the greedy

  8. Lies lies and more lies… always the poor returning residents. Let’s talk about the uk and Europeans from English harbor! STOP BLAMING RETURNING RESIDENTS … MR PM MY GOD BE HONEST FOR ONCE.

  9. TIGHTEN UP ARRIVAL PROTOCOLS FOR DIASPORA & TOURISTS…this is NOT generally an issue with returning Nationals who LIVE HERE , it’s diaspora!!!
    Bored with repeating this.
    Test on arrival
    To govt. Quarantine for 5-7nights
    Test again
    IF negative, release
    If positive, hold in quarantine for 13 nights & test again,do not release until negative.

    Mister PM … YOU have been calling out diaspora for months now, yet you have not changed arrival protocols – so, pray tell, how did you expect the trajectory to change?

  10. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine that most of the Caribbean islands are hoping to get soon through the COVAX facility; is now said to be less effective against the South African variant. This is bad news because it it said to be less effective against mild cases of the virus and does not prevent its spread.

    South Africa has decided to suspend the use of this vaccine. The Oxford company is now trying to alter the vaccine to make it more effective. This may take a few months.

    This should encourage us to be more vigilant and adhere to strict protocol guidelines to safeguard ourselves and others.

    Be wise.

  11. Stop the lies and stop blaming our returning nationals.
    What happened to the English harbor hot spot, where the cases are spreading amongst the white population like wildfire and they’re not been recorded when tested?

    Stop blaming our people and blame yourself. You were the one who allowed the carnival to continue after 8 pm on Christmas Eve and you’re also the one who allowed people to party till 1 am on New Year’s Eve.

    Get a grip on yourself and take the blame for all of it. It’s all on you.

    If it was left up to minister Joseph things would have gone differently.

    It appears as if Covid only roam between the hours of 8pm to 5am. Give me a a darn break…
    That’s not stopping the spread at this point. The toothpaste is all out the tube and there’s no putting it back in. This thing now has to run its course with proper measures.

    Sad to say only a hard lock down would slow things down at this point. I don’t want it because I need food on my table like many others and that’s where I see things heading.

    Shame on you papa Browne you’re going to have your children and grand children die of hunger in this country.

  12. Gaston Browne is trying to change the narrative. Away from the ineptness of his Administration. His Administration is filled with lazy brained,old renegades.


  14. is this guy a clown ? What’s his hang-up with returning Nationals and tourists with no qurantine coming from the same country n off the same plane is no prob . That’s the craziest shit I ever heard . They’re doing the same damn thing but they’re never quarantined or tested again so they’ll always be an undercount . This guy walks on brain ? Close the front door leave the back open ?

  15. That policy of not quaranting tourists and putting myself and family at risk,makes it pretty sure I will not vote FOR THIS MOMOO again !

  16. How ironic, that u
    Mr prime minister didn’t want to name and shame ppl when millions of dollars go missing from the customs department of ur ministry ,which could have resulted in the demise of high ranking individuals of the department .but yet u have the gumption to name my family in t he alleged spread of COVID 19 when my family members all came in in due time for my moms funeral and all went back about their business without any hiccups. My mothers funeral was over a month ago, ur spike basically
    just started and you chatting all types of erratic shit? Come on man. I can’t say I thought better of you though. Lay the blame where it belong on your greedy behavior allowing all borders open without adequate testing or tests being done JUST GUNNING FIR THE TOURIST DOLLAR

  17. He’s so full of bull dung. He himself was present of at least two of the last official funerals and he was present at the “famous one .” This has turned into a black and white issue. He and is government are more welcoming to trailer park white trash. Who finally can afford a vacation in the tropics because of such low fares to the region.

    The black born Antiguan who have there birth paper stamped born in Antigua. You scorn them. The white and their associates are welcome with rum punch. Gaston go and take a long walk over a short bridge. We’re going to vote your behind out of office. Simply for the citizens you swore an oath to protect. You’re a vagabond of the highest order. Having money and material things does not make you smart. You’re an inept leader of a party that has no protocol or contingency plan to handle COVID-19. You make nonsense and common sense laughable. You possess neither

    Your only concern is taxes generated from airline ticket sales, landing fees from airlines and VAT tax on hotel rooms. It’s a damn shame that a country will sell it’s residents safety for money. Then again it’s your bully pulpit that have you so. Your time will come and the reaper is waiting.

    • The money he has is our money. Not his. He is hiding it from us. And we will get back every cent as soon as we show him the door.

  18. white people are still docking boats at deep bay and having parties and no one is doing anything. They are not masked up and they are definitely not of the same household. stop the blame game

  19. Avatar photo John .F. Kennedy " LEADERSHIP AND LEARNING ARE INDISPENSABLE TO EACH OTHER ! Folks this Prime Minister learns nothing and if you learn nothing it's destined for failure .

    Stay Alert great points from you and some others . Folks this not a political issue it’s literally a life and death issue . Every Citizen in Antigua should insist on your Government to change that tourist policy not a day later . This story is a throw the bone in the corner and the dog is distracted .

  20. From a government that refuses to protect its people

    Sells off the wealth of the country for personal bribes

    Refuse to protect the health of citizens in order to please resort owners

    Did NOTHING to support poor citizens during the pandemic.

    Now blames black citizens for becoming infected by a disease that he welcomed to the island with no restrictions

    This guy is literally the worst. Greedy, corrupt, racist criminal, lying moron.

    Wake up Antigua.

  21. I know I am going to get a lot of negative comments for this post BUT…..seriously in this day and age……did people REALLY need to travel for the holidays? A funeral I can understand for sure…a wedding hmmmmm maybe, but for the Christmas holidays?

  22. GASTON: We need the tourist to come back when things clear up…….We can’t hurt the tourist feelings and blame them….

  23. Is the PM blaming returning nationals and not tourist?
    Did the PM and his team implemented a policy that you can only travel to Antigua if your show proof of a negative COVID test result?
    Is the PM saying that the country is letting in persons that are COVID positive?
    Did the PM and his team have a mandatory testing of all passengers at the airport when they enter the country?
    Did the PM get on the media broadcast and encourage citizens to postpone their weddings and tell their overseas relatives not to come to Antigua at this time?

  24. I just have one single question…….Do the people who work at Hotels etc wear Hazmat suits or something???? cause to me it seems like tourist who travel on the same flights as returning nationals go to hotels where they have no communication with anyone…. If their AC breaks down they will have to fix it themselves etc…Anyone coming from a hot spot plays a roll in the spread of Covid in Antigua….There are some returning nationals who are very guilty of what the PM is saying but tourist do are equally guilty….But saying that would make the PM look like a fool so why not just blame who???? Yeah that’s right you people who voted for him……

  25. Avatar photo The ship has indeed left the port and sailed . Never will I vote for this fool who has no intention to properly protect my family n self and makes up stories to justify his incompetence .

    Mr Zacari thank you for coming forward . I’m sorry that your family was even the slightest brought into this . As a kid I was told a LIAR IS WORSE THAN A THIEF . The things that he’s refusing to do and the pure garbage that comes out of his mouth makes me think he’s a COMPULSIVE LIAR , DELUSIONAL , UNDIAGNOSED MENTAL ISSUE .or all of the above .

  26. 🇦🇬Go PM! Go PM! Go PM!🇦🇬
    😉We’ll love you to the end!😏
    Yes Sah! #PropagandaSells!
    And, you do it so doggone well!
    #Propaganda will even keep Us out of hell
    🇦🇬Go PM! Go PM! 🇦🇬

  27. You notice dictator Gaston doesn’t mention a thing about his damned fresh out of university millionaire son breaking the same protocols. He blatantly says f masks, f protocols and he and his posse just do as they like. Protocols for we and a different set for them. Gaston son and his bottom kissing friends can do as they like. Gaston doesn’t even mention their names.

    We the little people are made to comply with the Draconian rule while dictator Gaston and his regime can do as they like. Dictator Gaston and his regime are traitors to Antigua and its people.

    I am also willing to bet none of them also pay any taxes on anything. The same with LIAT. They and their cronies all flew for free and that’s what caused the demise of LIAT. Now dictator Gaston has the balls to tell laid off LIAT employees they won’t be getting their full severance but privately owned companies MUST pay their staff FULL severance.

    Yes folks keep voting these traitors in and you will get more of this.

    Where are Nigel Christian’s killers? Who in govt hired the hit? Nigel Christian must have uncovered a lot of dirt on the Gaston regime and wouldn’t become corrupt like them.

    Get all of Nigel Christian’s killers.

  28. Lock them up the returning in the government facilities or if they refuse send them back on the plane they come off simple as that. Alot of the non imports I believe are returnees lying to government of their travel status

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