Thursday 22 October, 2020

Antigua out of BIM travel bubble, Minister says no cause for concern

Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Affairs Minister, Chet Greene

Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Affairs Minister, Chet Greene

Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Affairs Minister Chet Greene said residents should not be unduly bothered by the country's exclusion from Barbados' travel bubble.

Travellers from Antigua and Barbuda will now be required to prove that they are COVID-free before they are allowed entry into Barbados.

Responding to concerns raised about the possible implications for the two-island state, Minister Greene said the government of Barbados is doing what it deems necessary to protect citizens by containing the spread of COVID-19.

He noted that every traveller must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test upon arrival at the VC Bird International Airport.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said since the borders have been reopened, the government now has the added responsibility to implement measures to protect citizens and slow the spread of the virus.

He said: "While a bubble will allow persons under normal circumstances and a general definition for persons to arrive without any test being done, we are just making double sure that our borders are kept safe."

Earlier this week Barbados whittled down the list of countries in its travel bubble leaving only St Kitts-Nevis, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines will be allowed to enter Barbados.

Minister Greene said the overarching goal is for each country within the region to successfully and effectively manage the pandemic.

He said the measures that must be implemented for this objective to be realised may oftentimes be inconvenient but are necessary to safe lives.

In recent times there have been numerous complaints about the perceived unfairness of entry protocols, the Minister said returning nationals and prospective visitors should get familiar with travel advisories and contact the relevant departments.

He said this way they'll have a fair idea of what to expect upon arrival at their destination.

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