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Anguilla's government reported one active COVID-19 infection case "without direct links to an imported infection," said officials in a statement Thursday. Two additional individuals have tested positive; all three individuals are in isolation. Ministry of Health and Health Authority personnel have launched "aggressive" contact-tracing to identify people who may have closely contacted the affected people.
The government launched a curfew following the new infection case, with all persons on Anguilla other than those providing essential services required to stay home for a 14-day period beginning at 11:59 p.m. on April 22, 2021. Non-essential workplaces will also be required to close, and public gatherings will be prohibited.
Anguilla restaurants and food establishments will be restricted to take-out services, and social distancing measures "are to be observed including capacity limits and mask wearing where appropriate," said officials. Travel to Anguilla will be restricted during the period and ports will be closed to incoming passengers. However, visitors and residents seeking to leave Anguilla will be permitted to do so.
Officials did not say how long the curfew period may extend beyond the 14-day period. Also unknown was how the latest infection case may impact the country's recently announced "exit strategy" to resume tourism activity to "[generate] the business activity needed to revitalize the economy," according to Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) officials.
"Anguilla remains a safe destination, we take all incidents very seriously and our quick response and protocols reinforces how serious we are about the safety of our visitors and residents," said Kenroy Herbert, chairman of the Anguilla Tourist Board.
Anguilla had reported 30 confirmed coronavirus cases with one active imported case on the island through April 20. The tiny Caribbean island nation has about 14,800 residents. To date, 6,998 people in Anguilla have registered for the vaccine, officials said. Of those, 6,115 persons received their first dose, and 783 received a second dose, representing approximately 50 percent of the island's adult population.
Brian Major is Managing Editor for Digital Publications & Guides/Caribbean.
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