UTA President renews calls for health officials at V. C. Bird International Airport

Antigua’s VC Bird International Airport is affected by the lower rating
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The President of the United Taxi Association (UTA), Ian Joseph, has reiterated calls for health officials to look into the protocols implemented at the airport regarding the arrival of passengers.

According to the top taxi official, there is no practising of social distancing or other protocols as family members tend to greet each other with hugs and kisses. 

This, he said, has been quite alarming and could potentially place the country at risk of a Covid-19 outbreak.

“We are aware of how easily this virus can be transmitted and we are at the airport and we are carrying out all the protocols that were given to us by the ministry of health, but we are seeing otherwise when the local people come to pick up their people. There is too much family reunion and hugging and kissing as soon as they exit the terminal and you know the people that exit are supposed to be on home quarantine, so if they are just going to step out of the terminal and start hugging and kissing on the airport, then it means they would have broken whatever protocols they would have signed to in order to get home quarantine,” Joseph said.

“So we need the authorities to look into this or it’s going to be a national disaster if people don’t adhere to what we are told to do. We have tried talking to the Ministry of Health a few times but we are still waiting for somebody to come and observe it,” the president added. 

He also gave an update on monies that would have been owed to his members from overseas tour operators and cruise lines.

Joseph first spoke about the matter in June, airing his frustration over the lack of communication by the other parties. 

Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez was forced to step in and hold discussions with the relevant authorities and was optimistic that the tour ambassadors would receive their payments which, according to Joseph, amounted to about $80,000. 

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