JUNE 7TH 2020
On 28 May 2020, the Government publicly set out the process to ensure the safe repatriation of Anguillans. I want to restate this process now and update you on progress made.
This exercise needs to be orderly and well managed – it involves three elements.
First, prioritization. We need to balance the flow of persons returning with our capacity to safely manage the quarantine arrangements set out below. This is central to managing risk. This means that not everybody can return straight away. Having considered this, the following prioritisation for returns has been established:
1. Anguillian status holders, i.e. belongers.
2. Permanent Residents and those with residence stamps in their passports.
3. Those holding valid work permits.
4. Others, to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Again, looking at balancing the flow of returns with our capacity to safely manage the process, and recognising the prioritisation set out above, repatriation will begin with:
Persons returning directly from countries with no active cases, or with limited transmission of COVID-19. These countries are listed in the table below. For the main part, we anticipate that those coming from these locations – depending on their individual circumstances – will be able to self-quarantine.
Anguillian students coming from countries with higher transmission rates. These are listed in table below, and include the United States and the United Kingdom. For this group, quarantine in a government approved and monitored facility will be required.
Second, pre-departure arrangements. Anyone wishing to return must register on the online portal (link below) and provide the information required. Everybody will be assigned a dedicated caseworker to guide them through the steps needed to get home. This exercise will involve the following:
This is an important part of managing the process. The Government will not meet the costs of travel back to Anguilla. Once the necessary health and immigration checks are completed, those approved for return will be issued with a letter authorising their entry into Anguilla – approval will not be given to anyone displaying symptoms of COVID- 19. The letter will include details of the quarantine arrangements to be followed. Third, immediately on arrival, everyone returning will be assessed by medical personnel.
They will also be tested for COVID-19. They will then go through Immigration and Customs and proceed to their quarantine location to begin the mandatory quarantine period for a minimum of 14 days. Health professionals will monitor everyone throughout their quarantine. This will include visits and calls to those self-quarantining. Anyone reporting or showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be managed appropriately. At the end of the 14 days, a second COVID-19 test will be taken and if clear the individual will be released from quarantine.
A repatriation management team, which I am leading, has been established to implement the process set out above. The team is comprised of public officers from the Department of Public Administration, the Ministry of Health and Social Development, and the Department of Disaster Management.
Progress to date
As of June 6th 2020:
Finally, let me finish by noting two important points: First, everyone returning will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. For the avoidance of doubt, quarantine requirements will not be relaxed or shortened under any circumstances. Second, the repatriation management team is working in earnest to reunite families, strictly and only in accordance with the order of prioritization set out above.
Third, this is a complicated process because of the many travel restrictions imposed by countries around the world, including those through which our people will need transit. Once again, may I remind you of the link to repatriation form – https://beatcovid19.ai/repatriation-form/ If you have registered or you know of someone who has registered but has not received a response, please call the Covid-19 hotline at 1-(264)-476-7627 or 1-(264)- 584 – 4263.