No Decision on Protocols for Reopening Montserrat’s Borders

A woman runs tests in a lab as a man looks over her shoulder

Will travellers be required to show proof of vaccination before being allowed to enter Montserrat? Will tests be administered upon arrival? Will travellers be required to quarantine at a government facility?

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharra Greenaway-Duberry said Tuesday during a press conference on government lockdown support, that health officials are still in discussion on what protocols will be established to position the island for full reopening. The CMO said an announcement will be made once a decision has been made.

Ministry of Health officials said in 2020, that setting up an open testing platform would greatly increase the ability for managing the COVID-19 crisis here.  To this end, a special testing facility was set up on the compound of the Glendon Hospital to accommodate this.

Open Testing lab at the Glendon Hospital in St. John’s. (HM Governor’s Office Photo)

Governor Andrew Pearce said Wednesday the additional testing facility will soon be operational.

“I am delighted to see good progress being made in further strengthening our island’s testing capabilities for Covid 19. This new “Open” type PCR test equipment shown here will add a new, faster and wider testing capacity to our arsenal. Thank you to Montserratian colleagues and Public Health England experts for their skill, dedication and cooperative spirit. D-Day is in mid March,” he said via a social media post.

The open testing platform will increase the laboratories from four samples at a time to almost 100.

Officials have previously stated that having this platform up and running was a critical element of reopening the island’s borders to visitors.

The lack of information from the Government on a timeframe for reopening and the rules under which this will be done continues to hamper the private sector’s ability to market and accept bookings for visitor accommodations, plan events, and purchase goods.