The Grenada government says it has negotiated access to 20 seats on a British Airways charter to Barbados for stranded nationals in the United Kingdom.
In a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Keith Mitchell-led Administration said the flight’s load on the outbound leg will be shared among several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries and that the British Airways flight will leave London on Wednesday, June 3 landing in Barbados.
The statement noted that from this point nationals from the various islands will immediately access the inter-regional airline LIAT or other regional airlines to their respective countries.
“Passengers will also be required to bear the cost of their quarantine, if there is any.”– Statement by the Grenada Government
Grenada said stranded nationals registered through its diplomatic missions overseas will have prioritised access to securing any possible or available flights back to Grenada.
“In the case of the United Kingdom, this British Airways opportunity came up through a coordinated logistical process of the CARICOM High Commissioners in the United Kingdom, upon learning that the UK had chartered flights to repatriate its nationals from the Caribbean,” the statement wrote.
The government said that it is cognisant of the challenges faced by many nationals in foreign countries, during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting “we have always said that we are prepared to accept our stranded nationals back home, provided they have the means to find their way home, and provided that we have the capacity to quarantine them.”
“We are aware, as well, that we will, by no means, on our own, be able to meet the demands of all nationals abroad who wish to be repatriated. We also accept that we have a responsibility to accept them as our brothers and sisters, once they can return home,” the Grenadian government statement continued.
“In this process, we are ever mindful that there is the likelihood that any of them returning home, can be a carrier of COVID-19. As we have seen with the cruise ships, while we expect there will be further cases of COVID-19 in any mechanism that we consider or approve for entry into Grenada, we have also shown that, so far, we have the systems in place to catch COVID-19 at our borders, as much as is possible,” it added.
The government said that while the borders are still closed, it is moving forward with a phased acceptance of stranded nationals, in the first instance.
“The phased approach provides government with the necessary time to continue building capacity in terms of testing equipment, contact tracing and monitoring procedures, as well as the tightening of protocols,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, reminding that all passengers will be tested immediately upon arrival in Grenada, and quarantined for 14 days.
“Passengers will also be required to bear the cost of their quarantine, if there is any. The government of Grenada understands the anxieties that stranded nationals abroad have experienced in this uncertain COVID-19 environment and have certainly been receptive to welcoming them home, when it is safe to do so. We urge all our nationals, wherever you are, to stay alert and safe, and we ask that you please observe all health and safety guidelines issued by health officials,” the statement added.