FROM H.E. THE GOVERNOR AND THE HON. PREMIER
We’re committed to keeping you updated on the facts as they relate to Anguilla.
Cases/suspected cases – so far there have been three confirmed cases of COVID-19. Samples taken from all other suspected cases have thankfully returned negative. No test results are outstanding.
Border Closure – our ports will remain closed for the movement of all passengers until 00:01 on 21 April. Six flights repatriating a total of 146 US and Canadian nationals took place on 4 and 5 April. All flights arrived empty and the aircrew remained on board so avoiding any contact with ground staff. The decision to allow this carefully managed temporary removal of restrictions was with an eye to reducing potential pressure on our health services.
Protecting Anguilla from illegal entry – beyond the three confirmed cases, there is no evidence of the virus having spread. This is the result of good management by our health team and the decision to close our ports to passengers.
But these efforts will count for nothing if someone infected with the virus reaches
Anguilla through an illegal boat landing. Such selfish acts are now the greatest risk we face. Immigration, Customs and the RAPF are conducting joint patrols to intercept boats before they arrive here, and boats have been turned back. Over the last week these patrols have been significantly stepped up. Stopping those intent on smuggling people into Anguilla means intercepting and questioning every boat at sea, including those engaged in lawful activity. This stretches our resources and makes it easier for those intent of breaking the law to slip through.
Given this reality, today Executive Council took the difficult decision to introduce a
Regulation under the Emergency Powers Act prohibiting the use of any boat in
Anguilla’s waters, other than those specifically exempted. This prohibition will come into force on 00:01 8 April 2020 until 00:01 on 21 April 2020. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes all vessels, including those engaged in fishing. Arrangements are being made with the Fisheries Department to afford fishers the opportunity to manage the impact of this decision on their operations. The Regulations will allow a reasonable time for this to happen.
The general public remains the nation’s best eyes. We ask you to be vigilant and to immediately report to the authorities any boat movements so that action can be taken promptly.
Keeping Anguilla safe – many Anguillians are following the regulations issued by the Minister of Health on 26 March, but regrettably some are not, particularly when it comes to gatherings and to moving around. Please act responsibly and patriotically by staying at home except to:
- visit a doctor or pharmacy
- buy food or fuel
- make use of banking services
- exercise outdoors for no more than 90 minutes per day between 5 am & 6 pm.
These regulations are under constant review. They could be tightened should the
Chief Medical Officer advise us to do so.
Food and other supplies – the shops remain open and stocked. Our ports remain fully open for goods traffic and the supply lines from the US and the region remain uninterrupted. Once again, we ask you not to panic buy or to hoard.
Regulations on price gouging – Regulations on price gouging are being prepared and a list of items will be put in place by end of this week.
Economic package – the list of economic support measures presented at the
Government press conference on Friday 3 April are being implemented through the course of this week.
Playing your part – once again we urge you all to take the simple steps that save lives:
- please follow the regulations set out by the Minister of Health on 26 March
- practice safe social distancing – staying 3 to 6 feet apart from one another
- wash your hands frequently
- cover coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, or in the crook of a flexed
- frequently clean and disinfect shared spaces and work surfaces
- avoid contact with persons suffering from or exhibiting symptoms of acute
respiratory infections such as the flu, coughs, and colds.
Let us remind you again of the Ministry of Health hotline on COVID-19. The number is 1-264- 476-7627 that is 476 SOAP, or 1-264- 584- 4263, that is 584-HAND.
You can also access the most recent guidance and information at www.beatcovid19.ai