Premier Joseph E. Farrell said Wednesday that Montserrat will not participate in the recently announced CARICOM travel bubble.
Farrell, said last week’s announcement by Chairman of CARICOM Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines of the bubble had come as a surprise, despite the matter being a topic of discussion among leaders for some time now. He added that the leaders had not reached a consensus as to how the bubble would function as it left islands vulnerable to exposure from visitors from high risk nations.
Gonsalves had announced that initially, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines would be in the Bubble as they presently met the criteria with no cases or in the low-risk category. Other Member States and Associate Members would be allowed to participate when they met the criteria.
Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis and St. Lucia have also decided not to participate in the bubble. On Tuesday, CARICOM said four Member States have put arrangements in place for operating the travel bubble.
In a statement, Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong said that St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and Barbados have all put their arrangements in place and have commenced operating the bubble, which went into effect last week Friday in keeping with a decision made at a special emergency meeting of CARICOM leaders earlier this month.
“The defining feature of a COVID-19 travel bubble is that persons entitled to participate in the travel bubble are not required to take COVID-19 tests nor to undergo a period of quarantine in order to travel to countries that are within the bubble,” Comissiong said.
Premier Farrell said Montserrat will join the bubble when it is deemed safe to do so.