We’re committed to keeping you updated on the facts as they relate to COVID-19 and Anguilla.
Cases/suspected cases – of the three confirmed cases one has now tested clear of the virus. Samples from the other two cases have been sent to Trinidad; we expect the results back shortly. No new samples have been taken – this means there have been no new suspected cases. No one is in quarantine. This is a fluid situation and we should not be complacent.
Keeping Anguilla safe – Executive Council agreed on 16 April to extend the regulations issued by the Minister of Health on 27 March to 12 May, but with three important relaxations. First, Government offices will resume day-to-day functioning with effect from 22 April. Department heads will take appropriate steps to ensure effective social distancing and will permit flexible working patterns as they see fit. Second, child-minding facilities will be permitted to reopen from 22 April. And finally some non-essential business may resume, specifically:
We are keeping these regulations under constant review. We sincerely hope that circumstances will enable us to introduce further relaxations in the weeks to come but only if – on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer – we believe it is safe to do so.
Border Closure – our ports will remain closed for passenger movements until the situation outside Anguilla permits reopening to be done safely. We cannot say when this will be, but it is unlikely to be before the end of May.
Protecting Anguilla from illegal entry – illegal boat landings remain the greatest threat to our health and security. Coordinated land, sea and air patrols are in place and anyone attempting an illegal crossing will be arrested. We will not let our guard down and thank the public for your vigilance in reporting any boat movements. We have put in place a confidential reporting website should you have any information you wish to share with the authorities – www.gov.ai/911.
Prohibition on boat use – the notice and regulations prohibiting the use of any boat in Anguilla’s waters unless specifically exempted have been extended to 12 May. Work is in hand to establish protocols to allow some controlled relaxation of these measure for fishers.
Response measures – two new support measures to help soften the impact of the economic pain for working families have now been put in place.
First, the Social Security Board (Unemployment Assistance Temporary Benefits) Regulations have been signed. Applications for benefits can be made to the Social Security Board from Monday 20 April.
Second, for persons who do not qualify for assistance from the Social Security Board a separate temporary unemployment benefit will be offered.
Persons applying for both benefits noted above are encouraged to do so on line. This will be speedier and help us maintain social distancing. Further information on how to apply is available at – www.beatcovid19.ai
For those who have no internet access, some paper forms will be available from 22 April at the Post Office and Inland Revenue Department.
Playing your part – once again we urge you all to take the simple steps that save lives:
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