Tougher measures for returning nationals to combat COVID-19


As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the government is putting in place stiffer measures to protect the general population from the spread of the virus.

All returning nationals must quarantine for the mandatory 14 days at the government-controlled facility at Jolly Harbour.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in making the announcement, said the contact tracing team has confirmed a widely held suspicion that returning nationals pose a significant threat to the nation regarding the spread of the virus.

“All returning nationals must stay at Jolly Beach hotel and pay the fee of eighty dollars per day and this is a policy from which we will not compromise,” PM Browne stated emphatically during his Saturday afternoon radio programme.

According to the Prime Minister, this policy was announced several months ago and there was a fair amount of public ‘push back’ and in an effort to appease the community the decision was shelved. However, this time the measure is going ahead “in order to protect the population.”

“We have warned our citizens and residents not to expose themselves to returning nationals who take up residence with them and to ensure that they fully complete the mandatory quarantine period. Unfortunately, many did not heed the advice and today we are paying the price,” he explained.

PM Browne revealed that over the Christmas holidays there were about twelve hundred returning nationals who were in the country and who were asked to quarantine. Many of these persons are said to have flouted the regulations and were seen at several social events that ended being the source of several infections.

“There were a few funerals and some returning nationals gave the authorities at the airport false information regarding where they planned to stay in an effort to beat the system. However, through the work of the contact tracers, several outbreaks have been traced to funerals and at least one wedding. Family members did not complete the quarantine period thus leading to several family members becoming infected and who work at a number of institutions in the country,” he reported.

According to PM Browne, the sad fact is that family members have been spreading the virus amongst their own families, causing sickness and anxiety. He encouraged those who have returning nationals in their households to ensure that proper protocols are followed and to report any deviation in the observance of the quarantine to the authorities.

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  1. Have no restrictions at all.

    So they’re doubling down on a policy that clearly doesn’t work.

  2. Great deterrant!!! Returning nationals will be like Jolly Harbour?!?! Pay for it myself!?!? Hells No!! They will stay in their Covid riddled countries and we will be safer!!

  3. PM you should have never relented when your government took the first stand as to how to deal with returning nationals. It is a shame that you may have fallen for the push back from the UPP propagandist and power hungry folks when deep down they want no good for the country. Always stick to what you consider. Be guided by your wisdom. They came up with all sort of things as to how to manage the crisis only to slowly back track their positions because they knew it cudden wuk!!!

    • EVERYONE who enters most be tested on arrival and quarantined

      If you’re only applying those policies to the 1 returning nationals for every 100 tourist who has no restrictions you end up with an island full of COVID

      It’s almost like this government is full of incompetents

  4. Doesn’t everyone have to provide a negative PCR test, so why are there one rule for tourists and another for returning nationals?

    Tourists can arrive today and be all over the place without any issue. So I guess their negative test are valid but returning nationals tests are all fakes.

    It’s a pity someone do not challenge this disparity in court.

    • And it’s the fact that it’s a two-tiered system which probably makes returning nationals less likely to comply

      If they tested EVERYONE on arrival and quarantined everyone for at least a few days, no one would feel discriminated against and it would help keep the country safe

    • @ Cool Ruler – it’s blatant discrimination. It’s actually disgusting. Required a negative test 72 hours prior to traveling,And a negative test upon arrival for everyone!

  5. prime minister i believe is too late for u coming with that. should be long time ago no now this country is spoiled thank u for that

    • Custom officers be like “way yu barn again” 🤔 don’t worry my peeps election soon come, not sure if that’s gonna help but that’s the answer for everything these days.

  6. Just Saying ,you can see that you are one that doesn’t love your own kind . The two tier racist system you are endorsing for political reason makes no sense . Are you telling me only returning nationals can have covid? Just a few weeks aback ,a gentle man said on radio the people he was driving around that he got the covid from already left back to England . They weren’t quarantine or tested. People like you is why our country is like this. Everything is about politics and not common sense. Blaming UPP and returning nationals will not solve the inept,bias protocols in place . Returning nationals must quarantine at Jolly Beach no exceptions ,but tourist will be allow to move around willy nilly .People like you knows everything about South Africa and America when it comes to racism ,but right in Antigua the land of your birth you are truly blinded. When will we wake up and stop talking about ABLP and UPP, just look at wrong and right . I pray majority of our people wake up and don’t think small minded like you . God bless us all!

    • And that’s one huge reason why the “imported” category isn’t a true reflection on how much disease the tourists are bringing in

      simply stated — they don’t test tourists; therefore, they can infect the population and then return to their homes without ever being part of the official count

      You also have to realize the number of returning nationals to tourists is probably something like 1:100 or greater.

      More tourists = much bigger chance of spreading infection

  7. ??? All returning nationals must stay at Jolly Beach hotel and pay the fee of eighty dollars per day and this is a policy from which we will not compromise,” PM Browne stated emphatically during his Saturday afternoon radio programme.

    5pm yesterday cabinet briefing, Melford stated the medical officers at the airport will determine if returning citizens /Nationals are able to self-isolate at home with a bracelet or if they must go to Holly Beach with a bracelet.

    SO was the PM giving a personal opinion on his own radio station as GB or was it a national statement as PM?


  8. I am at a lost why do the Antiguan government discriminate against their own nationals. I really do not understand, these are the same nationals that are sending regular money back to family members in order for them to survive which they inturn use to help economy. Most of them are not working or not been paid for months. Why have tracing braclets then want them to isolate in a paying government facility for 2 weeks when most have property here that they are paying house tax ect for. The government should treat the nationals the same as the tourist. However should not expect any different when arriving in Antigua from UK they treat nationals like criminals in customs. We should not have to put up with unfair treatment in our country of birth.

  9. Avatar photo Policys is now made on the CLOWN AND CLOWN SHOW ? Seriously guys this is Trumplike . Blame others for his falures ,acts eratic , listens to no one , not easily swayed and makes decisions and changes policys on a dime Hmm 🤔m

    Rolston Benjamin well written piece . They are a lazy bunch of fools that allow someone to continually endanger their love ones and themself is truly amazing !
    . Most just lay down and play dead every time and Àntigua is loaded with Lawyers and not one will take this matter up in court. It’s a small island so I guess most want to be in his good graces or it’s the nobody paying me . The funny thing is even some were to be paid I’m not sure how many would pick up the fight .For a second forget about any other reason IT’S DISCRIMINATORY and RACIST AT BEST .BECAUSE ITS NOT DONE BY A WHITE PERSON DOESN’T MEAN IT’S NOT .

  10. The nonsensical comments that Wiseacres continue to spread about Wadadli is beyond absurdity. This medium is doing a great disservice to it’s readers. The protocols is clearly established for all that visiting Wadadli. This medium must be a truth teller by correcting this misinformation and proganda. Print the Protocols for all arriving passengers to Wadadli.

  11. Please advise your progandist to download all the Latest Caribbean Islands Travel Advisers. In these difficult and trying time’s, this medium should speak truth to power and educate the public, it’s not a dirty political games and Diatribes with Covid-19. The truth crushed to earth will always rise.

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