Minister denies preferential treatment for tourists

Cabinet spokesman Melford Nicholas
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Claims of unfair treatment being meted out to returning residents in comparison to tourists are “untrue”, Information Minister Melford Nicholas told a press briefing this morning.

Since the re-opening of the country’s borders with strict entry requirements, some nationals have complained that they have been treated differently to foreign visitors. 

Complaints include tourists allegedly being spared intense questioning by immigration officials. Many also say while visitors are allowed to quarantine in hotels, citizens are “forced” into government quarantine facilities.

Nicholas said the policies reflect the level of risk posed by the different groups. 

The country’s Chief Medical Officer made representations to Cabinet on the matter this week. She explained that returning nationals are more likely to mix with family and friends and unwittingly spread the virus, as opposed to vacationers who stay in hotels with approved systems in place to curtail contagion.

Nicholas added however that he would be visiting the airport himself on Saturday to observe the processes first-hand.

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