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Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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Ministry Provides Inaccurate Information

CDC Puts Antigua on Level 3: DO NOT TRAVEL LIST

The State of New York has issued a mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement for individuals traveling to the New York Tri-State area from a large number of International Destinations which includes Antigua.  This is causing a massive number of cancellations in hotels throughout Antigua

A number of other islands in the region are exempt from the quarantine requirement because they are not on the “Level 3: Do not travel” list, which is where Antigua is currently.   Other islands not subject to the quarantine restriction are St. Kitts & Nevis, Monserrat, St. Barths, Anguilla, and St. Lucia.   In fact, while Antigua is on the Leve 3 list, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is on Level 2, Saint Barths is Level 1, and St Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Anguilla, and Monserrat are Level 0 and have NO travel advisory and have been declared by the CDC that the “COVID-19 Risk is Very Low”

Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Melford Nicolas, indicated after the cabinet meeting that the Chief Medical Officer has contacted the CDC stating that Antigua meets the requirement of less than 10 cases per 100,000 residents.   He also indicated that the quarantine requirement does NOT apply to American Citizens returning to the New York Tri-State Area.

This information is truly inaccurate in a number of ways.  First, the CDC requirements ranks international destinations by i) Virus transmission rates at the destination (primary criteria) and ii) Healthcare capacity and public health infrastructure at the destination (secondary criteria).

The secondary criteria is as follows:

The CDC states that most of the Secondary Criteria is qualitative data from official sources, specifically Ministry of Health Websites.  Specific to note the Antigua Ministry of Health is the ONLY country in the region that does not have its own Website and instead has only a facebook page and pales in comparison to what St Kitts, St Lucia and other countries provide online through their COVID-19 and Ministry of Health Websites.

Minister Melford Nicolas went on to allege that the mandatory 14-day quarantine does not apply to US Citizens, which is categorically incorrect.

The Trumpet reached out to New York Governor’s Office, New York State Health Department, the New York Port Authority Media Relations Department and JFK International Airport and all confirmed that the quarantine requirement applies to everyone including US Citizens.

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