Barbuda Council asks PLH to halt operations for 14 days

Critics decry the impact on Barbuda’s ecologically sensitive Palmetto Point (Photo by Gemma Handy)
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The Barbuda Council has asked the President of Operations at the Peace Love and Happiness (PLH) and Barbuda Ocean Club, Justin Wilshaw, to cease operations for 14 days beginning this Friday.

In a letter to Wilshaw, the council said that majority of the four individuals infected with Covid on Barbuda are employed by the organisation.

It said the companies’ daily movement of a large number of workers via ferry from Antigua was a concern, especially as health officials on Antigua have shown an apparent inability to cope with the significant increase in covid cases.

The request, the council said, is a necessary step in the effort to halt the spread of the virus.

“This is to allow our healthcare workers and medical team to carry out more extensive testing and contact tracing and reduce the chances of cross border spread that could quickly overwhelm their capacity to cope,” the letter read.

The request is subject to change depending on the progression of new infections, the council added.

The central government has persistently stated that the Barbuda Council, although the local government entity on Barbuda, does not have the legal right to make such decisions without the support of Cabinet.

On Monday, Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin extended an invitation to the council to “meet half-way” to improve the relationship between Antigua and the sister island, remarking “that every law passed in Antigua is equally applicable to Barbuda”.

Observer reached out to Wilshaw who has insisted that the company is operating in accordance with the law.

He said it is a federal legislative matter that the company does not want to get roped into.

Last year, the Barbuda Council implemented guidelines to govern movement from Antigua to Barbuda, the government said even then, that the council had no power to do so on its own.

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