The Member of Parliament for Barbuda, Trevor Walker, has expressed concerns with how the sister isle would monitor visitors, given the relaxation of border restrictions between both islands.
Authorities on the sister isle had implemented border closures at the height of the coronavirus pandemic when Antigua was slowly recording Covid-19 cases.
Those restrictions were subsequently lifted, after fewer cases were being recorded on the mainland, and which subsequently caused the government to relax restrictions.
Walker believes though, that given the unpredictable nature of the situation, there is still some cause for concern in Barbuda’s case.
“The concern I have, basically we have relaxed the control that we had on persons moving through Antigua, and Barbuda. It is not necessarily the border talk but just in terms of controlling persons moving back and forth and to ensure that we are on top of that Covid situation.
“Things have been relaxed quite a bit and so it is a concern we have in terms of how we are going to manage all that screening and manage that situation in a particular way, so we are looking at that. I think we had a meeting two days ago with the doctors and the nurses who do the screening at the ferry docks and we are monitoring that situation closely,” he said.
The MP also pointed to the strict protocols in place on the mainland – noting his personal experience – and insisted that similar approaches needed to be taken on Barbuda.
“When I came over to Antigua a few days ago, to my surprise having entered the terminal I had to go to a specific part of the arrival lounge. I had to fill out a form, I had to answer some questions, I was screened, temperatures taken etc, so clearly on this end the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is doing it. I said to the lady ‘I am coming from Barbuda’, which is inter-island, just so I can get a response out of her, and she said ‘there are no exceptions’.
“So I said all that to say that it is important that we do what we have to do on Barbuda as well because I experienced that personally, and so in Barbuda I think that it is important that we stay ahead of the game as well,” Walker said.
Calls to the Ministry of Health to comment on whether plans are in the pipeline to institute similar protocols on the sister isle were unsuccessful.