ANGUILLA--With no active or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Anguilla, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Aisha Andrewin has advised the Executive Council that all regulations restricting movement and gatherings can be safely removed. This means that churches, restaurants and bars, all retail stores, hair salons and barber shops, accommodation suppliers, gyms and spas, recreational facilities and official lotteries can re-open from today, Wednesday, April 29.
A release from Governor Tim Foy and Premier Victor Banks states, “This is a great step forward and we want to thank you all for your support in following the restrictions while they were in place. But we ask you all to continue to practise social distancing. COVID-19 has also taught us all again about the importance of good basic hygiene in preventing the spread of all infectious diseases. Consequently, environmental health officials in Anguilla will be visiting all commercial premises in the coming weeks to check compliance with established environmental health regulations.” It was noted that these or other restrictions may be re-introduced if circumstances change.
Border control will continue and all ports are to remain closed for passenger movements until the situation outside Anguilla allows for them to be safely opened. No date has been given for this, but it is unlikely that ports will open before the end of May. A limited number of repatriation flights for foreign nationals will take place this week. These flights – all of which have been formally requested by overseas governments – will take place under the same controlled arrangements as previous repatriation. All aircraft will arrive empty, with the aircrew remaining on board, so avoiding any contact with ground staff.
The release states that illegal entry to Anguilla remains the greatest threat to health and security. Coordinated land, sea and air patrols remain in place and anyone attempting or assisting an illegal crossing will be arrested. This week 40 Special Constables will be sworn-in to support the Royal Anguilla Police Force to patrol possible landing points. Prohibition on boat use in Anguilla’s waters is continuing with specific exemptions for a managed programme for fishers.
The Social Security Board is accepting online applications for unemployment benefits for those who are out of work, to receive EC $1,000 per month for three months. Unemployed persons who are not in the Social Security system can receive EC $800 per month.