Barbudans receive travel assistance to return home

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Starting this week, all Barbudans will be able to travel home by ferry for a reduced cost of $100 per roundtrip under the Barbuda Express Discount initiative.
So said programme officer of the Marine Ecosystem Protected Area Trust (MEPA), Sasha Middleton, speaking with OBSERVER media.
Middleton said that the ferry will leave the St. John’s Harbour in the mornings at nine, so individuals should be there at 8 a.m.
She stated that 10 Barbudans will be permitted to travel daily, and the price of children’s tickets will remain at pre-discount levels.
Reservations have to be made to the Barbuda Recovery and Conservation Trust (BRCT) boat scheduling coordinator at least one week before travel, according to the programme officer.
Middleton stated that the programme is being offered by the BRCT with the help of the Waitt Institute, MEPA and the International Community Foundation.
“This is being done to relieve the Barbudans of some financial burden,” said Middleton.
This offer is open to Barbudans in Antigua who want to go to Barbuda and those in Barbuda who wish to come to Antigua for business and other purposes, said Middleton.
Middleton explained that the automated teller machines (ATMs) in Barbuda are still not working, so many have to go back and forth from Barbuda to Antigua for that and other reasons.
Middleton added that since Hurricane Irma, many Antiguans have gone to Barbuda to work. This service is also to facilitate those people who may need to go back and forth between Antigua and Barbuda before finally settling back in Antigua permanently.
The programme will last for 16 weeks until June 30, giving the sister island some time to be fully restored and for Barbudans to return home.

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