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Montserrat reopens its borders but discriminates on Quarantine

No gathering today would look like this one – the good old days of Plymouth

The following release headed as follows really does little more than remove the requirement to apply for ‘permission’ to enter Montserrat. “It’s still so easy to be a COVID-19 criminal…”

THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT RELAXES SOME COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

No restrictions on the number of persons allowed to gather, Border Reopens, No quarantine period for Fully-Vaccinated Persons among other changes

Thursday, March 31, 2022 – The Government of Montserrat has made some significant relaxation adjustments to the COVID-19 suppression regulations since the implementation of these measures in 2020.

As of today Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 5:00 a.m. the Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.3) Order, (S.R.O 19 of 2022) took effect bringing an end to restrictions on the number of persons allowed to gather in a public place and removing the ‘Allowed to Enter Category’ which previously stipulated who is permitted to enter Montserrat, among other changes.  

Persons traveling to Montserrat are no longer required to fill out an online declaration form for permission to enter.  The pre-travel online declaration form is only required to be completed and submitted by non-resident technicians who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

As it relates to an individuals’ COVID-19 status, the new regulations maintain the requirements for persons entering Montserrat to present a negative COVID-19 test result.  The negative test result document must include all the information previously stipulated regarding the laboratory details; full name, address, and date of birth of the person tested; the date the test was conducted and it must now also include the date the sample was taken. 

The pre-entry requirements are as follows:

  • A person who intends to enter Montserrat shall take a COVID-19 test no earlier than three days prior to entry into Montserrat.

(2)  The following persons are exempted from this requirement:

(a)  a child under five years of age;

(b)  a person entering Montserrat in circumstances related to a medical evacuation; and

(c)  a person who has been granted permission by the Minister to enter Montserrat for the purpose of aiding with preparations for a disaster or after a disaster,

The owner of a vessel or aircraft must ensure that persons traveling are in possession of a copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 test or a negative RNA COVID-19 test or else the owner will be committing an offence.

Persons arriving on Montserrat are required to answer all questions asked by the Medical or Health Officer and may be required to undertake health checks and screenings.  Individuals who are fully vaccinated must provide the Medical or Health officer with proof of their vaccination status. If this evidence is not provided, then the individual will be regarded and treated as not being fully vaccinated.

A fully vaccinated person is required to be tested for COVID-19 on entry into Montserrat.  If the result indicates that the person is not infected with COVID-19 then the individual is not required to self-quarantine or isolate. However, if the test result is indeterminate (unknown/inconclusive) then the fully vaccinated person must go directly home, place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and shall remain there to await the results of further COVID-19 tests.

If further testing reveals that the fully vaccinated person is infected then he or she is required to self-quarantine or isolate until:

(a) he/she is not infected with COVID-19; or

(b)  he/she leaves Montserrat.

The regulations for a fully-vaccinated person will also apply to a fully-vaccinated non-resident technician.

Persons not fully vaccinated – entry into Montserrat

Individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated upon arrival after undergoing the necessary COVID-19 screenings are required to go directly to his/her home or place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and self-quarantine for 10 days.

Between eight and ten days after entering Montserrat the individual will be tested for COVID-19 to determine if he/she is negative and can therefore be released from quarantine on day 10.

If the individual is required to leave Montserrat before the 10 days have elapsed, then he/she will be allowed to do so.

Not fully vaccinated – Non-resident technician

The previously established COVID-19 testing requirements for a non-resident technician who is not fully vaccinated to be tested within 24 hours of entry into Montserrat remain in place.

Prior to entering Montserrat, the unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated non-resident technician is required to apply to the Minister of Health for approval to enter Montserrat before submitting the online declaration. To apply for approval, an unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated non-resident technician should send an email outlining details of intended travel to Montserrat to mehcsmail@gov.ms.

The non-resident technician who is not fully vaccinated is not required to self-quarantine but must be guided by the following:

  1. only be in a public place for the purpose of traveling to and from the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician;
  2. wear a mask at all times while at the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician;
  3. practice social distancing while at the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician; and
  4. remain at his place of occupancy at all times except when traveling to and from the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician.

All persons entering Montserrat are required to pay the requisite fees for the COVID-19 test(s), where applicable.   Additionally, antigen tests have been added to the list of COVID-19 tests accepted for entry into Montserrat; the other two are RNA and PCR. However, antibody tests are not accepted.

Persons who enter Montserrat under the current order will not be allowed to switch to the new order S.R.O 19 of 2022.

Protocols for Children  

The new SRO also makes amendments to regulations pertaining to children.  Under the new order, if a child under the age of 18 enters Montserrat, the child will be treated like the adult who accompanied the child when entering the island.  Additionally, a child two years and under is not required to take a COVID-19 test.

Protocols-Bus drivers and taxi operators

As it relates to bus drivers and taxi operators, the new order stipulates that the owner or driver of a bus or taxi shall place or cause to be placed a hand hygiene station in a conspicuous (visible) place at the entrance of the bus or taxi.  The owner or driver must also mandate that passengers use the hand hygiene station before entering the bus or taxi; ensure regular refilling of containers or regular refilling and maintenance of the equipment at the hand hygiene station and ensure that a passenger wears a face covering in a bus or taxi.

Under the new SRO, face-coverings are still mandatory in public places, hand hygiene stations are still mandatory at the entrance of public and private buildings; restrictions on visitations to a patient in the hospital, a residential care facility, and a detainee in prison remain in place, except with permission or prior approval from the Heads of these institutions.

Previously established protocols for the operation of business establishments such as bars, restaurants, religious establishments, hair salons, spas, and other similar businesses, gyms, and sports clubs are no longer in place.

S.R.O 19 of 2022 will expire on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 5:00 a.m.

S.R.O 19 of 2022 is available on the Government website, under the Attorney General’s page. The S.R.O. can be accessed at the following direct link:  

Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.3) Order (www.gov.ms)

Additionally, please note the date of effect for S.R.O 19 of 2022 was amended in S.R.O 22 of 2022.  A link to the amendment order is provided below:

Public Health (Covid-19 Suppression) (No. 3) (Amendment) Order (www.gov.ms)

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Update: Travelling from the UK and USA to Montserrat via St. Maarten FOR THE 2021 SEASON

Update: Travelling from the UK and USA to Montserrat via St. Maarten FOR THE 2021 SEASON

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE

December 6, 2021

Winair at J Osborne Airport – 2010

The Alternative Routes Team (ART) would like to advise that there are still a few seats available on Saturday 11th and 18th December 2021 with WINAIR, seating a maximum of 14 passengers.  Additional flights are also being arranged for 8th, 15th and 22nd January 2022.

Persons wishing to travel to St Maarten for international connections to Europe, Canada, the USA can now book seats on the return flights to St Maarten on 11th and 18th December 2021 and  8th, 15th, and 22nd January, 2022 respectively.

  1. Travelers must first obtain permission to enter St Maarten and to re-enter Montserrat. Visit websites http://stmaartenehas.com/travel and www.gov.ms/travel for permission.
  • PASSENGER MAXIMUM LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE IS 35LBS CHECKED AND 10LBS HAND LUGGAGE

Interested persons are advised to contact Mr. Desmond Meade at 1-954-805-5663 (WhatsApp, Telegram) or email: ds3ic34@gmail.com to book flights or for further information.

Disclaimer: Although this route does facilitate the travel of persons who have not been able to vaccinate for medical or for deeply religious reasons, this information is certainly not intended to discourage persons from vaccination. Most health services at this time encourage vaccination against covid19. Persons are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their healthcare provider.

Please note that the charter flight on WINAIR arriving in Montserrat from St Maarten on December 4, 2021, is now fully booked.  Additional weekly flights are being arranged with WINAIR, scheduled for 11th and 18th December 2021, and  8th, 15th,  and 22nd January 2022, maximum seating of 14 passengers. 

Persons wishing to travel to St Maarten for international connections to Europe, Canada, the USA, to shop, or simply for a STRESS-BUSTER can now book seats on the return flights to St Maarten on 4th and 11th December 2021 and  8th, 15th, and 22nd January, 2022 respectively.

  1. Travelers must first obtain permission to enter St Maarten and to re-enter Montserrat. Visit websites http://stmaartenehas.com/travel and www.gov.ms/travel for permission.
  • PASSENGER MAXIMUM LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE IS 35LBS CHECKED AND 10LBS HAND LUGGAGE

Interested persons are advised to contact Mr. Desmond Meade at 1-954-805-5663 (WhatsApp, Telegram) or email: ds3ic34@gmail.com to book flights or for further information.

Disclaimer: Although this route does facilitate the travel of persons who have not been able to vaccinate for medical or for deeply religious reasons, this information is certainly not intended to discourage persons from vaccination. Most health services at this time encourage vaccination against covid19. Persons are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their healthcare provider.

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@afwlitfest-good-night-MNI

H. E. presents…

Good Night Montserrat

Enjoy a Hybrid AFW LitFest This Week 

BRADES, Montserrat (November 14, 2021) – Whether you live in Montserrat or thousands of miles away you will have the opportunity to experience the 13th Alliouagana Festival of the Word. 

The official dates are November 18 to 20, however, activities begin from Monday the 15th under the theme Our Future, Our Stories. 

Festival Coordinator, Nerissa Golden of Goldenmedia said she was delighted to be facilitating another exciting programme to celebrate our love for books and the people who create them. 

Starting Monday at 10 a.m. the Public Library in Brades will host a week-long exhibition called Write Montserrat: A Literary Retrospective of Our Island’s Authors. The collection will showcase the works of local authors in a variety of genres. 

On Monday at 7 a.m, the Good Night Montserrat series sponsored by the Governor’s Office will begin on Facebook. 

“We invited book lovers to submit a video of themselves reading their favourite children’s stories. We have received submissions from around the world and are excited to share them with our fans,” Golden revealed. 

Residents are encouraged to gather along the Carr’s Bay main road on Thursday, November 18, at 10 a.m. for the Book Parade. This colourful street parade allows primary school children to bring their favourite storybook characters to life. 

The Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell Memorial Lecture will be aired on Friday evening on the festival’s Facebook page. Two engaging panel discussions make up the programme starting at 7:30 PM. 

The Saturday morning workshops begin online at 10 AM and focus on various aspects of digital publishing from idea to final production and sales. These workshops are brought to you with the support of the Montserrat Public Library. 

Books by eight Montserratian authors will be celebrated at the Saturday evening gala. Starting at 6 PM at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, this elegant evening is a fundraising event and will highlight the new works of authors including Edwin L. Martin, Shirley Osborne, Norman Ryan and Jennifer Joseph. 

The 13th annual Alliouagana Festival of the Word is sponsored by the Montserrat Arts Council, Goldenmedia, Governor’s Office, the Ministry of Education, Digicel, Montserrat Volcano Observatory, and Friends of AFW LitFest.

Follow the 2021 literary festival activities on Facebook at AFWLitFest or via #AFWLitFest. 

Nerissa Golden
CEO/Creative Director
Goldenmedia LLC

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Methodist-Church-President

Main churches in Antigua support COVID-19 vaccinations – but where is the due diligence of their representation

Taken at another level when it comes to acts against humanity, these are well documented, even their claim to scientifically; but has the “church(es)” really checked the extent of the science and indeed their faith?

Bishop Everald Galbraith
Apostle Dr. Stephen Andrews

“…hand in hand with the state so that we can conquer this enemy together…”

This is the most frightening situation on our local front so far in this pandemic… but haven’t we been leading to this long?

R C Bishop Yanis

This is so so sad.

Not so much the encouragement, but what it represents in some disguise, if only to be carefully kind because of the apparent lack of due diligence by the churches, arguing the church must stand with science and faith.

Criminal acts against humanity, taking away people’s right of choice as to what ‘medication’ they take for something which carries minimal risks (Risks that are dishonestly represented at that) to theirs, or others’ lives.

Taking that right to choose that will ‘lawfully’ (but illegally) cause them to lose their livelihoods. Who thinks of the consequences of this? It is what the UN ICCPR is all about.

https://antiguanewsroom.com/seventh-day-adventist-churchs-stance-on-covid-19-vaccine/?fbclid=IwAR2V2s3_fzF47MF9FV0Jyii6yxE6_RvnT9hN94LcVXx4_KgP5-qzCn-xg60

Saying: “They are not the Biblical Mark of the Beast and they are safe and effective. That’s the stance of three prominent churches…in Antigua…”

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Javid

It is not different from forcing mandatory vaccination

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Playing the game! But we can’t say that the BOT Montserrat understands it. That begs the question, “Do the Government continue to ‘mismanage’? The criticism from day one has been how poorly they have managed, criminalising guidelines, and the logistics surrounding them. A most recent press release claiming to have “expanded the categories of persons allowed to enter Montserrat, and have made provisions for the use of electronic monitoring devices under the new public health COVID-19 Suppression Order…, is no more than forcing people to take the vaccine.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1463989/Sajid-Javid-covid-positive-test-health-secretary-coronavirus-vn?utm_source=express_newsletter&utm_campaign=politics_evening_newsletter2&utm_medium=email

The UK Daily Express carried that story today coming after the Government of Montserrat (GOM) announced that it was making laws in a similar fashion that has pressured in more ways than one, the people and visitors to Montserrat. The latest move in a hypocritical way appears to be opening up the island to ‘tourists’ and visitors and even to persons who own homes and others who are normally residents in Montserrat for periods during each year.

What is this thirst, this hang-up on ‘vaccination’ which as seen in the most recent of many stories and official announcements, that the vaccine does not guarantee one who has taken, the ‘jab’ or ‘jabs’ (more than one, three may even be required to improve efficacy, do not prevent the vaccinated from contracting or passing on the infection?

The Order requires that certain categories of persons visiting the island must be fully vaccinated in order to gain admission to the island. The previous rules such as testing when on the island may still be in place.

“The parent or sibling of a Montserratian…”

“The parent, sibling, husband, wife, child or dependant of a person who (i) holds a permit of permanent residence; (ii) ordinarily resides on Montserrat; or, (iii) who owns a habitable house or home in Montserrat.”  

“The parent, sibling, husband-wife, child or dependant of a professional person who has been engaged by an entity in the public or private sector.”

In each case these persons: “…must be fully vaccinated and intends to enter Montserrat no earlier than July 19, 2021 and leave Montserrat no later than September 30, 2021;”

They remind that the new Order also makes provisions for the use of an electronic monitoring device to better manage persons in self-quarantine. 

On the Daily Express website there is also an article which quotes a professor who is angry at PM Johnson for what is called “Freedom Day” when all COVID-19 restrictions are eased on Monday. “Professor Christina Pagel, professor of operational research at University College London (UCL), said: “I feel p****d off, sad and angry.

“We are having the wrong conversation. Opening up on Monday is madness. We should not be doing it.

“We should be talking about how do we get cases down now.”

TMR says they can ease the situation by offering those people who for one reason or another do access the vaccine advice and information on how to protect healthily against the virus and what treatment is available early should they contract or even suspect, infection.

The full referenced GoM press release may be found at: www.gov.ms

Readers who wish to read more on the issues of mandatory vaccination and other reletative matters to how the COVID situation is handled, here and world-wide may find on this TMR site and at: https://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter

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image-3

NHS chiefs warn ministers must END ’emergency Covid response’

by Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For Mailonline

TMR: As we here agree but for different reasons;  knowing our GoM somehow do not reference much CARPHA/PAHO/WHO but follow UK directives, mostly though seemingly without question or study.

Doctors and NHS trusts are demanding a plan for Britain’s Autumn booster jab rollout within weeks to ensure the UK can end its ’emergency response’ to Covid-19 and edge further towards normality.

Medics also want clarity from ministers on how long they believe that immunity from the first two jabs will last and whether children are to be vaccinated as England’s proposed ‘Freedom Day’ arrived with little relaxation of rules because of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.

The challenge of also doing the winter flu jab campaign as usual – and the potential of a combined shot to fight both the flu and coronavirus – must also be overcome as well as keeping an army of volunteers on standby to administer the injections, experts warned today.  

Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers and Royal College of GPs chairman Martin Marshall said the plan to ensure every British adult is offered a jab by July 19 is ‘not so much a finishing line as a staging post’.Adwith Telegraph Media GroupHomeowner over 60? Don’t fall for the equity release myths

One insider told the BBC: ‘We cannot just carry on as we are, with an emergency response’. 

Almost a third of all adults in the UK have now had two jabs, while 80 per cent of the population has had a first jab. But the elderly and vulnerable are expected to need a third jab to protect them this winter. 

Covid booster vaccines are currently being trialled in the UK as health chiefs gear up to offer all over-50s a third dose this autumn.

Southampton University scientists are recruiting thousands of fully-vaccinated Britons to the study, which will test seven Covid jabs as top-ups.

They will record any side-effects analyse the antibody levels of volunteers to check whether the extra dose offered any extra protection. No10’s top scientists are set to be fed the results of the world-first trial to determine how booster shots should be dished out later in the year.

The acceleration of planning for the Autumn came as: 

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The cases all came from just 16 of the 167 countries on the amber list, according to the data

© Provided by Daily MailThe cases all came from just 16 of the 167 countries on the amber list, according to the data

NHS chiefs warn ministers must END 'emergency Covid response'

© Provided by Daily MailNHS chiefs warn ministers must END ’emergency Covid response’

Covid jabs ‘will be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds before schools return in September’ 

Young people aged 16 and 17 are to be offered a coronavirus vaccine before they return to school after the summer holidays, it has been reported.

According to The Sun, ministers want to give jabs to children for the first time if medical experts say it is safe to do so.

The new plans emerged on the day that Britons would have been celebrating the final lifting of coronavirus restrictions, before the measure was delayed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

With a new Freedom Day target of July 17, Downing Street reportedly wants to offer all A-level and college students aged 16 and 17 a vaccine in August before they go back to school in September.

However, it comes after experts on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation are understood to have raised ‘serious ethical concerns’ about inoculating children because of the tiny risk they face of becoming seriously ill. 

The JCVI was reportedly set to urge No10 to hold off jabbing under-18s in the immediate future and wait for more safety data to come out of the US and Israel, where the plans are already in motion.

But a Whitehall source told The Sun that if the JCVI does approve vaccinations for younger age groups, the Government has the ‘capacity and willingness’ to offer them vaccines.  

‘Late teens are some of the most socially active members of society so if we can cut that transmission, it can only be a good thing,’ they added. 

Yesterday, hundreds of people queued to get a jab at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in north London as the vaccine programme was opened up to people aged 18 to 20.   

More than 700,000 Covid-19 jabs were booked in one day through the national booking service on Friday which equated to 30,000 an hour or more than eight every second.

Experts running the clinical trials said every jab should spark added immunity — but that some may lead to more side-effects than others.

It came as one million jabs were booked over the weekend as officials launched a ‘summer sprint’ to vaccinate all over-18s by July 19.

Thousands queued in the rain for jabs at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in north London yesterday after the football club turned into a walk-in vaccine clinic for the day. Most of those getting vaccinated were in their late teens or 20s, and also went to similar events at football stadiums all over London over the weekend. 

Patients will be given health MOTs when they go to get their covid boosters or flu jabs, under NHS plans.

Starting this Autumn, they will be offered a range of tests including blood pressure, heart rhythm and cholesterol checks.

NHS officials believe that thousands of lives could be saved by rolling out these routine MOTs to patients at the same time as their jabs.

Scientists are not yet clear as to whether patients will need booster jabs this Autumn and it will depend on how long the protective effects of the first two doses last, based on the evidence from trials.

But NHS officials are planning to offer these check-ups at flu vaccination clinics – even if the boosters aren’t needed – to try and catch conditions that might otherwise remain undiagnosed.

Amanda Pritchard, the NHS’s Chief Operating Officer said: ‘The NHS is not just a sickness service but a health service which is why we want to make every contact count, using every opportunity

Officials are in a race to vaccinate younger adults in a bid to halt the spread of the Indian variant and stop students bringing Covid-19 back home over the summer holidays, potentially infecting older generations. 

Cases are currently highest among people in their 20s and infections are five times higher in under-25s than in over-65s, as almost all older adults have received both doses.

Everyone aged 18 and over is being urged to arrange a jab if they have not yet had one, as the health service enters the final push to protect the country against the virus. 

Public Health England said there has been a 79 per cent rise in one week in cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India, with the increase being driven by younger age groups.

Similar pop-up centres to the one at Tottenham Hotspur were set up on Saturday at sporting venues in London and giant jab clinics were also opened at the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Charlton Athletic FC, Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace Athletics Centre.  

There were also pop up clinics at universities, such as in York and Canterbury.

The day before, the vaccine programme was thrown open to all over-18s and the NHS revealed that 1,008,472 jab appointments were booked on Friday and Saturday. 

Social media firms have signed up to a government plan to encourage younger people to get the Covid jab. Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and YouTube joined the scheme.

The success of the vaccination rollout is crucial if ‘Freedom Day’ can finally go ahead on July 19.

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Ministers consider letting holidaymakers who have received two doses of Covid vaccine skip quarantine after visiting amber list countries 

People who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine may not be required to quarantine after going on trips overseas, it emerged today. 

Cabinet ministers are considering easing restrictions for double-jabbed UK travellers, while a top Public Health England medic hinted there may be ‘alternatives to isolation’ for fully-vaccinated Britons.

Such a move would help placate the beleaguered travel industry, which has been devastated by restrictions and successive lockdowns more than a year and whose chiefs have warned of a jobs bloodbath. 

Under current rules, UK travellers from red list countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 per person. 

Those who leave the quarantine hotel before the end of their 10 days could be handed a £5,000 fine, rising to a maximum of £10,000.   

People travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home, and will need to present proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, as well as tests on days two and eight of quarantine.  

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Dr Susan Hopkins said:  ‘We’ll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

‘We’ve talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who’ve had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

‘And they are allowing their population to travel more. 

‘We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

‘But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I’m not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.’

Responding to Dr Hopkins’ remarks, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the Government has not ruled out relaxing restrictions, such as on foreign travel and self-isolation, for those who have received both vaccines. 

‘I think experts like Susan Hopkins are absolutely right to remind us the evidence is still developing on double vaccinations,’ he told the BBC.

‘It looks great, it looks really encouraging, we’re trying to be as flexible as we can. We will keep on looking at all these proposals and flexes as appropriate.’

About two-thirds of cases are in unvaccinated people, and just one in 13 infections are in those who have received both doses.

So far some 59.5 per cent of British adults have had two doses of a vaccine, while 81.6 per cent have had at least one dose.

Dr Susan Hopkins, from Public Health England, yesterday said she hopes all over-40s – seven in ten of all adults – will be fully vaccinated when restrictions lift.

So far four in five adults have received one dose and three in five have had both vaccines.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: ‘It is fantastic to see so many young people coming forward to do their bit in the battle against the virus, protecting themselves, their friends and their family. NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to get jabs in arms.’

Yesterday Professor Kevin Fenton, regional director at London Public Health England, said: ‘We’re just about entering into a final summer sprint, where we’re working with local authorities to get the rates up among everybody over the age of 18, but especially those aged over 40. That’s our number-one focus now.’

Professor Fenton said it was unlikely the capital would have all over-30s double-vaccinated by July 19, but that it was vital they had been given one dose by then.

He said the PHE staff in London were ‘really dealing with hesitancy that people may have about getting vaccinated, it’s safety, or where to get it done’. 

The bookings surge came at the end of a week which had already seen almost 1.8 million appointments made in just three days, after the NHS vaccination programme opened up to people in their early twenties.

Some 692,299 appointments were made on Tuesday when 23 and 24-year-olds became eligible for a jab, with another 635,478 booked on Wednesday when the programme was extended to those aged 21 and 22.

There were another 456,366 appointments made on Thursday, meaning more than 2.5 million appointments were booked in just four days since booking opened to under 25s on Tuesday. 

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: ‘This pandemic has been a challenge for everyone but the various restrictions have hit young people particularly hard.

‘That’s why it’s good news that Covid vaccinations are now open to all adults across the country, and already well over three million people in their twenties have now had their first jab.

‘So if you’re 18 and over and haven’t yet had yours, now’s the time. It’s the single easiest way to protect yourself, keep friends and family safe, and hopefully give us all our summer freedoms back.

‘Please encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same, as we’re now in the race to the finish line.

‘The more of us who are vaccinated, the safer we all are, and the sooner freedom can return.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘It’s incredible to see the enthusiasm young people are showing for vaccination across the country, and it is a testament to the fantastic work of the team in keeping as many people safe from Covid-19 as possible.

‘If you’ve yet to book your appointment, I urge you not to hesitate in getting your jab and securing this protection for yourself and your loved ones.’

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Government data up to June 18 showed that of the 73,766,593 jabs given in the UK so far, 42,679,268 were first doses – a rise of 218,636 on the previous day.  Some 31,087,325 were second doses, an increase of 188,858.

Ministers are today facing calls to relax foreign holiday rules after new data revealed fewer than one in 200 travellers from amber list countries tested positive for Covid.

Just 89 of the 23,465 people who travelled into the UK from amber list countries at the end of last month and the start of this month had a negative Covid test, NHS Test and Trace shows.

The cases all came from just 16 of the 167 countries on the amber list, according to the data.

And there were no cases classed as being ‘variants of concern’ – Alpha, Beta, Delta or Gamma variants – the figures show.

Ministers say the strict foreign travel rules are there to reduce the risk of dangerous variants from reaching the UK.

But the new figures, which cover the period of May 20 to June 9, have led to more calls to relax restrictions – which have caused havoc on the travel industry.   

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative MPs, told the Times that the Government should start relying on its successful vaccine roll-out.

He told the paper: ‘Vaccination and testing are making international travel safer just as surely as they make things safer within our borders.

‘It’s time British people were able to reap the benefits of the vaccines and for us to get the travel industry moving again.’ 

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© Provided by Daily Mail(

Currently there are 167 countries on the UK’s amber travel list, including top holiday hotspots such as Portugal, Spain and Greece.

Travellers from amber list countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days on their arrival in the UK, and take two PCR Covid tests. 

These tests are the figures that are provided by NHS Test and Trace. 

The figures also show there were no Covid cases recorded from arrivals from green list countries – of which there are currently 11 destinations including Iceland and Gibraltar.

Arrivals from green list countries do not have to quarantine on their arrival in the UK.

From red list countries, which require entrants to the UK to quarantine in specific hotels, 435 of the 24,511 people arriving from red list countries had coronavirus.

Of those cases, 89 variants of concern were detected. 

It comes as it is revealed today that people who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine may not be required to quarantine after going on trips overseas.

Cabinet ministers are considering easing restrictions for double-jabbed UK travellers, while a top Public Health England medic hinted there may be ‘alternatives to isolation’ for fully-vaccinated Britons.

Such a move would help placate the beleaguered travel industry, which has been devastated by restrictions and successive lockdowns more than a year and whose chiefs have warned of a jobs bloodbath. 

Under current rules, UK travellers from red list countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 per person. 

Those who leave the quarantine hotel before the end of their 10 days could be handed a £5,000 fine, rising to a maximum of £10,000.   

People travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home, and will need to present proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, as well as tests on days two and eight of quarantine.  

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Dr Susan Hopkins said:  ‘We’ll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

‘We’ve talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who’ve had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

‘And they are allowing their population to travel more. 

‘We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

‘But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I’m not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.’

Meanwhile Covid cases have risen by a quarter in the last week and another six people have died from the virus, as a SAGE expert warned a ‘miserable winter’ could be on the way.

New figures released by the Department of Health showed a further 9,284 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed, up 24 per cent from last week’s figure of 7,490.

Today’s deaths figure is a slight drop from last week’s total of eight, a sign that the vaccination programme is continuing to keep mortality rates low despite the increase in cases.  

Government data up to June 19 showed that of the 73,766,593 jabs given in the UK so far, 42,964,013 were first doses – a rise of 280,241 on the previous day.

Some 31,340,507 were second doses, an increase of 236,363. 

However, Professor Calum Semple – a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises the Government – today warned that further lockdowns could be a possibility because of the emergence of new respiratory viruses. 

Professor Semple told Times Radio: ‘I suspect we’ll have a pretty miserable winter because the other respiratory viruses are going to come back and bite us quite hard. 

‘But after that, I think we’ll be seeing business as normal next year. 

‘There’s a sting in the tail after every pandemic, because social distancing will have reduced exposure, particularly of pregnant women and their newborn babies, they will have not been exposed to the usual endemic respiratory viruses.’

He added that the above factors could mean the UK has what he called a ‘fourth wave winter’.    

The professor added: ‘The protection that a pregnant woman would give to their unborn child has not occurred.

‘So we are going to see a rise in a disease called bronchiolitis, and a rise in community acquired pneumonia in children and in the frail elderly, to the other respiratory viruses for which we don’t have vaccines.

‘So that’s why we’re predicting a rough July, August and then a rough winter period.’

Even though he called it the ‘fourth wave winter’, he said it would be much milder than the previous ones.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the strategic response director for Covid-19 at Public Health England (PHE) also warned of a possible rise in cases at the end of the year.

She told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘We may have to do further lockdowns this winter, I can’t predict the future, it really depends on whether the hospitals start to become overwhelmed at some point.

‘But I think we will have alternative ways to manage this, through vaccination, through anti-virals, through drugs, through testing that we didn’t have last winter.

‘All of those things allow us different approaches rather than restrictions on livelihoods that will move us forward into the next phase of learning to live with this as an endemic that happens as part of the respiratory viruses.’ 

Wedding guest list limit of 30 is lifted from TODAY while care home trips and big wakes are also allowed – but rule of six remains and nightclubs stay shut

New lockdown easing measures will be introduced in England today – though not as many as first hoped.

The Government has pushed back its June 21 ‘Freedom Day’ by four weeks – to July 19 – amid concerns over the Delta variant.

But people in England will be given back some freedoms from today – most of which centre around large scale events and celebrations. 

Here MailOnline looks at what people in England can do from June 21, and what rules will be delayed:

Weddings

July and August are widely regarded as the peak months for weddings in the UK. And for those hoping to get hitched this summer, there is good news.

From June 21, the Government is to lift capacity restrictions on weddings, meaning more than 30 people can attend.

The current rules allow up to 30 people to attend weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.

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But venues will now be able to choose a safe number of guests themselves, after carrying out risk assessments.

Weddings organised on private land, such as gardens, will also see capacity limits lifted. 

However, like private venues, organisers will have to carry out risk assessments prior to the wedding.

And you won’t be able to take to the dance floor at the wedding. Though the couple’s first dance is allowed, dancing is ‘advised against due to the increased risk of transmission’ 

Congregational and communal singing is also ‘strongly advised against’. 

Wakes

Like weddings, wakes have been limited to 30 people. But this has been contentious because funeral limits were lifted in May.

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It meant that families could invite an unlimited number of guests to a funeral, but had to limit the number who could attend the wake.

But as of June 21 the limits on wakes will now be lifted, bringing them in line with funerals and weddings.

Care Homes

Indoor visits to care homes, for up to five named guests, were re-introduced in May.

But restrictions have remained for those wanting to leave the care home to visit other people.

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That is changing from June 21. In England, rules on visits outside care homes will be relaxed.

Residents will not have to isolate after spending time away from the care home with family and friends – including overnight stays. 

Boris Johnson said: ‘The requirement for residents to isolate for 14 days after visits out of care homes will also be removed in most cases.’

Residents who leave to visit hospital will still have to isolate for 14 days on their return, however. 

Nightclubs

Unfortunately, those hoping for a return to the nightclub dancefloor will have to wait at least another month before they can start busting a move again.

Nightclubs have been closed since March last year, when lockdown was first  announced in the UK.

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And they will not be allowed to reopen until at least July 19 now, after the Government pushed back Freedom Day another four weeks.

Time to put those dancing shoes back on the shelf.

Cinemas and Theatres

Theatre-goers and film-lovers have been able to return to venues since May.

But venues have been restricted in terms of capacity. And those restrictions are set to remain beyond June 21.

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Cinemas and theatres will continue to be limited to 50 per cent capacity, until at least July 19.

Masks

Facemasks still have to be worn in indoor public areas such as shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes, as well as public transport.

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Those who fail to wear a mask without a medical or similar exemption can be fined £200. 

Social Distancing

The rule of six remains in place indoors in England beyond June 21, while up to 30 people are able to meet outdoors.

That will not change until at least July 19.

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Working from home

Many office workers have been preparing to head back to their desk on June 21.

But the Government is not lifting its work from home guidance today.

Instead, the Government will continue to advise people to work from home where possible.

The rule will remain in place until at least July 19. 

Just one in 200 amber list travellers test positive for Covid on their return, figures show as pressure increases on ministers to relax holiday rules

Ministers are today facing calls to relax foreign holiday rules after new data revealed fewer than one in 200 travellers from amber list countries tested positive for Covid.

Just 89 of the 23,465 people who travelled into the UK from amber list countries at the end of last month and the start of this month had a negative Covid test, NHS Test and Trace shows.

The cases all came from just 16 of the 167 countries on the amber list, according to the data.

And there were no cases classed as being ‘variants of concern’ – Alpha, Beta, Delta or Gamma variants – the figures show.

Ministers say the strict foreign travel rules are there to reduce the risk of dangerous variants from reaching the UK.

But the new figures, which cover the period of May 20 to June 9, have led to more calls to relax restrictions – which have caused havoc on the travel industry.   

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative MPs, told the Times that the Government should start relying on its successful vaccine roll-out.

He told the paper: ‘Vaccination and testing are making international travel safer just as surely as they make things safer within our borders.

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© Provided by Daily Mail(

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© Provided by Daily Mail(

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© Provided by Daily Mail(

‘It’s time British people were able to reap the benefits of the vaccines and for us to get the travel industry moving again.’   

Currently there are 167 countries on the UK’s amber travel list, including top holiday hotspots such as Portugal, Spain and Greece.

Travellers from amber list countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days on their arrival in the UK, and take two PCR Covid tests. 

Ministers consider letting holidaymakers who have received two doses of Covid vaccine skip quarantine after visiting amber list countries 

People who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine may not be required to quarantine after going on trips overseas, it emerged today. 

Cabinet ministers are considering easing restrictions for double-jabbed UK travellers, while a top Public Health England medic hinted there may be ‘alternatives to isolation’ for fully-vaccinated Britons.

Such a move would help placate the beleaguered travel industry, which has been devastated by restrictions and successive lockdowns more than a year and whose chiefs have warned of a jobs bloodbath. 

Under current rules, UK travellers from red list countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 per person. 

Those who leave the quarantine hotel before the end of their 10 days could be handed a £5,000 fine, rising to a maximum of £10,000.   

People travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home, and will need to present proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, as well as tests on days two and eight of quarantine.  

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Dr Susan Hopkins said:  ‘We’ll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

‘We’ve talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who’ve had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

‘And they are allowing their population to travel more. 

‘We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

‘But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I’m not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.’

Responding to Dr Hopkins’ remarks, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the Government has not ruled out relaxing restrictions, such as on foreign travel and self-isolation, for those who have received both vaccines. 

‘I think experts like Susan Hopkins are absolutely right to remind us the evidence is still developing on double vaccinations,’ he told the BBC.

‘It looks great, it looks really encouraging, we’re trying to be as flexible as we can. We will keep on looking at all these proposals and flexes as appropriate.’

These tests are the figures that are provided by NHS Test and Trace. 

The figures also show there were no Covid cases recorded from arrivals from green list countries – of which there are currently 11 destinations including Iceland and Gibraltar.

Arrivals from green list countries do not have to quarantine on their arrival in the UK.

From red list countries, which require entrants to the UK to quarantine in specific hotels, 435 of the 24,511 people arriving from red list countries had coronavirus.

Of those cases, 89 variants of concern were detected. 

It comes as it is revealed today that people who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine may not be required to quarantine after going on trips overseas.

Cabinet ministers are considering easing restrictions for double-jabbed UK travellers, while a top Public Health England medic hinted there may be ‘alternatives to isolation’ for fully-vaccinated Britons.

Such a move would help placate the beleaguered travel industry, which has been devastated by restrictions and successive lockdowns more than a year and whose chiefs have warned of a jobs bloodbath. 

Under current rules, UK travellers from red list countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 per person. 

Those who leave the quarantine hotel before the end of their 10 days could be handed a £5,000 fine, rising to a maximum of £10,000.   

People travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home, and will need to present proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, as well as tests on days two and eight of quarantine.  

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Dr Susan Hopkins said:  ‘We’ll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

‘We’ve talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who’ve had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

‘And they are allowing their population to travel more. 

‘We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

‘But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I’m not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.’

Meanwhile Covid cases have risen by a quarter in the last week and another six people have died from the virus, as a SAGE expert warned a ‘miserable winter’ could be on the way.

New figures released by the Department of Health showed a further 9,284 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed, up 24 per cent from last week’s figure of 7,490.

Today’s deaths figure is a slight drop from last week’s total of eight, a sign that the vaccination programme is continuing to keep mortality rates low despite the increase in cases.  

Government data up to June 19 showed that of the 73,766,593 jabs given in the UK so far, 42,964,013 were first doses – a rise of 280,241 on the previous day.

Some 31,340,507 were second doses, an increase of 236,363. 

However, Professor Calum Semple – a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises the Government – today warned that further lockdowns could be a possibility because of the emergence of new respiratory viruses. 

Professor Semple told Times Radio: ‘I suspect we’ll have a pretty miserable winter because the other respiratory viruses are going to come back and bite us quite hard. 

‘But after that, I think we’ll be seeing business as normal next year. 

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

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© Provided by Daily Mail182033135

NHS chiefs warn ministers must END 'emergency Covid response'

© Provided by Daily MailNHS chiefs warn ministers must END ’emergency Covid response’

‘There’s a sting in the tail after every pandemic, because social distancing will have reduced exposure, particularly of pregnant women and their newborn babies, they will have not been exposed to the usual endemic respiratory viruses.’

He added that the above factors could mean the UK has what he called a ‘fourth wave winter’.    

The professor added: ‘The protection that a pregnant woman would give to their unborn child has not occurred.

‘So we are going to see a rise in a disease called bronchiolitis, and a rise in community acquired pneumonia in children and in the frail elderly, to the other respiratory viruses for which we don’t have vaccines.

‘So that’s why we’re predicting a rough July, August and then a rough winter period.’

Even though he called it the ‘fourth wave winter’, he said it would be much milder than the previous ones.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the strategic response director for Covid-19 at Public Health England (PHE) also warned of a possible rise in cases at the end of the year.

She told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘We may have to do further lockdowns this winter, I can’t predict the future, it really depends on whether the hospitals start to become overwhelmed at some point.

‘But I think we will have alternative ways to manage this, through vaccination, through anti-virals, through drugs, through testing that we didn’t have last winter.

‘All of those things allow us different approaches rather than restrictions on livelihoods that will move us forward into the next phase of learning to live with this as an endemic that happens as part of the respiratory viruses.’

It comes as thousands of Covid-19 jabs are being administered at stadiums and football grounds in London which were transformed into mass vaccination centres.

Giant jab clinics have been set up at the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Charlton Athletic FC, Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace Athletics Centre.

Smaller events are also taking place in local community venues in a drive to vaccinate as many Londoners as possible.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was ‘delighted’ to visit Chelsea’s ground at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea FC had 6,000 Pfizer vaccines to administer on Saturday, with the jab being offered to all adults over the age of 18 yet to receive a first dose, as well as those awaiting a second Pfizer dose.

Mr Khan said: ‘Chelsea FC, West Ham at the London Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Charlton Athletic FC, are hosting large-scale pop-up clinics, and there are a huge number of events taking place in local community centres, so that as many people as possible get convenient access to the life-saving Covid jabs.

‘You do not need to be registered with a GP to get vaccinated.

‘It is great news that more than eight million doses of the life-saving Covid-19 vaccine have been given to Londoners, and now all adults over the age of 18 are able to get the jab.’

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Environment, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

Premier-Hurricane-statement-TMR05-jun04_21-br-pg3

2021 Hurricane Message

by Premier, Hon. Joseph E. Farrell

Fellow Montserratians I extend warm greetings to all of you.

  As we begin the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, I want us to take some time to reflect on the past year, and how we have been able to adapt to a world in which COVID-19 has dominated our everyday lives and actions.  It has also reinforced the need for us to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our families.

 As we enter the 2021 Hurricane Season, we have to ensure that our desire to protect ourselves and our families are amplified to include hurricane precautionary measures to protect not only human life but also our homes, our businesses, and our infrastructure.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is constant each year; from June 1 to November 30 and Mother Nature does not pause to give us a break because we have been dealing with other matters such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and so, we should not be complacent as it relates to hurricane preparedness. 

The predictions are for another active hurricane season, and while God’s favour and mercies have spared us over the past few years from any direct impact, I urge you to not let down your guard.  Regardless of the level of activity predicted, I want to remind you that it only takes one hurricane to directly impact us and seriously affect us.

Some of us might believe that a hurricane is not a real threat or assume that we will be spared because we have not been directly affected in recent years.  But, I strongly urge you to take all precautionary measures to safeguard your families, businesses and communities.

The Government’s work to protect lives and livelihoods continue, and even as we maintain our efforts on COVID-19, we have also been actively preparing for this hurricane season.  In fact, the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) has been working with key stakeholders, prior to the start of the hurricane season to ensure steps are taken to prepare for any eventuality.

Our government Ministries and departments have been updating their hurricane plans and work to protect our infrastructure has already started as the Public Works Department has been clearing our waterways to reduce the likelihood of flooding.

As I do every year, I encourage you to:

  • Follow the advice from officials at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) – they are our experts in disaster preparedness and response.
  • Stay informed by monitoring communication channels for official information from Government.
  • Update your hurricane preparedness plans for your family and your business. Everyone in your family or business should know what to do and where to go if impacted, and;
  • Pack essential supplies in an Emergency Kit.—Supplies should include non-perishable food and water for everyone in your home, medications, sanitisers, face-covering, items for personal hygiene and batteries.

I encourage you to remember those in your communities who are not as mobile as you are and need your assistance, the vulnerable, elderly and persons with disabilities, please lend them a helping hand.

Do stay safe and look out for each other. 

May God bless and protect us.

June 1, 2021

Posted in Advertisements, Climate/Weather, Government Notices, Hurricane, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

Grenada-to-SVD

St. Vincent and the Grenadines volcano erupts – thousands evacuate

by Bennette Roach

This is La Soufriere, St. Vincent – may remind of Soufriere Hills, Montserrat

The largest volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent is home to La Soufrière erupted beginning at about 8.30 a.m. “Four days shy of its anniversary on the second Friday on April 9, 2021, in spectacular fashion, sending an ash plume shooting an estimated 52,000 feet into the atmosphere and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Later, what University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Center scientists called an “explosive eruption,” reportedly sent plumes over 100,000 feet.

The explosion of ash was so large that it was visible from space on weather satellites. Southwesterly winds carried the cloud of ash over northern parts of St. Vincent and over the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean between the islands of Saint Lucia and Barbados, as seen from a photo on the front page.

Throughout the weekend, much of the island was covered in ash from the eruptions that continued on through Friday night. By Sunday night, eruptions were firing up again as conditions worsened,

Dozens of residents required rescuing from the northern part of the island as the new dangers place even more islanders at risk.

Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, very well known and remembered having worked for long stints in Montserrat, eventually heading the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, said during a Sunday night news conference that there is evidence of pyroclastic flows, the rush of super-heated gas and debris traveling down the mountainside as fast as 120 miles per hour, in the areas around the volcano.

“These flows are really moving masses of destruction,” Robertson said. “They just destroy everything in its path. Even if you have the strongest house in the world, they will just bulldoze it off the ground.”

The abrupt eruptions continued to launch debris and a cloud of ash into the air throughout Sunday night, leaving its remnants scattered throughout the island.

On Saturday, he said the roughly 110,000 residents of St. Vincent, many of whom have already sought refuge on other islands, should expect to see the largest blast of their lifetimes in the coming days

“The explosive eruption has started and it is possible you could have more explosions like these,” he said during a press conference on Saturday, according to NPR. “The first one is not necessarily the worst one, the first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang.

Very early Sunday morning, the National Emergency Management Organization of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (NEMO SVG) said on Twitter that a “massive power outage” was underway following another “explosive event” of the volcano. The island-wide power outage began just after 1.00 a.m., local time, on Sunday morning as loud rumblings continued to emit from the volcano, according to News 784 in St. Vincent.

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said water supplies to most of the island had been cut off and its airspace had been closed due to the smoke and plumes of volcanic ash moving through the atmosphere,

The NEMO SVG reported later in the morning that the ash plume had fallen at Argyle International Airport.

The island had been preparing for the eruption, but not the magnitude of it. Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Gonsalves announced in a press conference the evacuation order for residents in “red zones” on the northeast and northwest sides of the island.

This evacuation includes roughly 16,000 people on the island, Ralph Gonsalves @ComradeRalph  said:

I have issued an evacuation order to all residents living in the RED ZONES on the North East and the North West of the island. All residents are asked to act accordingly with immediate effect to ensure their safety and that of their families.

The Government-led evacuations immediately began, but they were to be assisted by nearby cruise line ships, arriving Friday, to help get people to safety.

However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, evacuations are more complicated than usual.

Gonsalves said in his press conference that people have to be vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship or going to another island. The minister also highly recommended those taking shelter in Saint Vincent be vaccinated.

Flights were canceled at the Argyle International Airport on St. Vincent as well as the Grantley Adams International Airport on the nearby island of Barbados on Saturday, further complicating evacuation efforts.

Even on Friday morning, fresh magma near the surface of the volcano left the sky aglow.

https://www.facebook.com/uwiseismic/photos/a.112065204326/10158019592044327/?type=3

https://www.facebook.com/uwiseismic/photos/a.112065204326/10158019592044327/?type=3

The La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent has had five explosive eruptions in the past, with the most recent being 1979. There was, however, an uptick in seismic activity more recently in December of 2020.

Gonsalves urged people to be patient and continue to take precautions as experts warned that explosive eruptions from the volcano could continue for days or even weeks, NBC News reported.

In an interview with NBC Radio, Gonsalves said that it could take up to four months for life to return to normal, depending on the extent of the damage. He added that agriculture will be badly affected.

In extremely powerful volcanic eruptions, the ash and aerosols released in the eruption can pass through the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, and penetrate into the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere.

If enough of the ash and other pollutants released in the eruption make it into the stratosphere, they can influence the climate around the globe. The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is about 6 miles (10 km) above the ground, a little higher than where commercial jets typically fly.

Response was immediate from the region

CARICOM governments and especially OECS governments immediately responded to these eruptions by sending and offering assistance to the stricken 16,000 populated area immediately affected by the continuing explosions and eruptive events.

The “Stronger Together Campaign

OECS Commission Launches “Stronger Together Campaign”

The OECS launched the  “Stronger Together Campaign” an Emergency Response for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines” is an initiative organized by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission relative to a coordinated approach to assist with relief and recovery efforts on behalf of our Member State, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Donations are invited from individuals and corporations across the Caribbean and globally. All funds (100%) raised via this campaign will be directly transferred to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

There is no limit on the value of pledges and contributions. Pledges are invited from individuals and corporations across the Caribbean and globally.

Montserrat had earlier sent one of its MVO scientists in the leadup to the eruption. Christopher Thomas joined other UWI) Seismic Research Center scientists who included Richard (Richie) Robertson with he worked here in Montserrat, for the team that monitored the volcano up to its eruption and after.

Government of Montserrat Officials at Warehouse with Supplies for St. Vincent & the Grenadines

On April 28, 2021 GIU release advised “The Government of Montserrat will deploy a shipment of emergency relief supplies to help address the immediate needs of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines affected by the ongoing eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano.

It informed further: “Twelve pallets of relief supplies from Montserrat’s emergency stockpile containing 7,200- N95 masks, 400 blankets, 200 cots, 140 helmets, water pump and accessories, eight folding tables and push-brooms, will be shipped on April 29, 2021. These were to be collected by the vessel MV Promise Kept to arrive in St Vincent and the Grenadines the following day, Friday, April 30, 2021.

The relief supplies from the national emergency stockpile managed by the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), are designed to meet the basic needs of residents staying in Emergency Shelters, overseen by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The move was a follow-up to the GoM’s April 12 announcement that Montserrat will donate humanitarian supplies, contribute $150,000.00 (US$55,555), and establish a local team to provide support to the people of the volcano stricken islands.

Other islands as reported from OECS headquarters

The Government of Grenada will provide $1 million in support for the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to help deal with the impact of the explosive eruptions at the La Soufriere volcano.

Grenada initially pledged to accept hundreds of Vincentian evacuees if they opted for relocation and immediately began making arrangements to do so, in collaboration with St. George’s University. Meanwhile, preparations continue to be made to host evacuees in the event that persons decide to take advantage of the opportunity.

These items include drinking water, water tanks, collapsible water bladders, buckets, portable toilets, sleeping mats, field tents, respirator masks with filters, hygiene kits, disinfectants, and sanitisers.

As the volcanic disaster in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines continues to unfold, regional solidarity is once again at the forefront of relief efforts.

Antigua and Barbuda

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda was among the first and began its response efforts on Thursday, April 8, 2021 after Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne consulted with his counterpart in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonzalves.  It was at this juncture that Antigua and Barbuda agreed to accept 250 Vincentian evacuees who would be accommodated at the Jolly Beach Hotel. The gesture was part of a wider regional response to the developing situation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 

In addition to accommodation, the GoA extended support and services to evacuees.  While in Antigua, the Ministry of Health will provide medical support; the Transport Board will provide the necessary transportation for official movement; the Ministry of Education will facilitate the education of students; the security forces will provide security as necessary for the well-being of all, and the Ministry of Works will assist with physical security if necessary.

Donations from corporate and civic organizations as well as the national warehouse in Antigua and Barbuda were coordinated through the National Office of Disaster Services.  So far, support has been received from Mega Distributors, the Lion’s Club, Best Buy, the Rotary Club of Antigua, Premier Beverages, GCS Bottling Services Ltd, and the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross. These donations, which included water, water tanks, housing supplies, personal care items, mosquito nets, generators, lanterns, flashlights, and relief kits, were shipped in a 20-foot container on April 12, 2021.

World Bank

The World Bank disbursed US$20 million to support the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ response to the crisis posed by the La Soufrière volcano eruption.

The explosive eruption began on April 8 and has required the evacuation of 20,000 people from the high-risk zones around the volcano, both to other parts of Saint Vincent and surrounding countries. Explosions are continuing, and the falling ash is causing air quality concerns and interruptions in electricity and water supply.

The funds are disbursed from a contingent credit line from the World Bank, known as the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), approved in June 2020.

Dominica

The Government and people of Dominica continue to stand in solidarity with the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and reiterates the support of all Dominicans during the volcanic crisis unfolding on the island, Prime Minister Skerrit said.

Following an eruptive event of ash flow

Before April 12 he conversed with Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and offered support to assist with the evacuation of residents during this natural disaster as the Government worked to confirm logistics and make preparations for the accommodation of a group of Vincentians for a period of up to five months.

All local partners and international organizations on the island are collaborating with the Government and a national response is being finalized.

He said also ‘the expressions of concern and outpouring of support for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been exceptional and reflects the kindness and brotherhood we are known for.’

St Lucia sends assists with transporting stranded OECS workers from St. Vincent

Meanwhile, St. Lucia on the receiving end of ashfall assisted with 139 Stranded Agricultural Workers in the wake of the La Soufriere Volcano explosion. They were farmworkers en route to Canada were part of the seasonal agricultural workers’ programme.

It was reported already that Dominicans have reached out and offered assistance to house individuals who need to be evacuated from St. Vincent. In this regard, a special hotline was established for the general public to offer support for housing or other areas of assistance.

The agricultural workers, 95 Vincentians, 18 Saint Lucians, and 23 Grenadians, were en route to Canada for employment on the seasonal agricultural workers’ programme when their flight from St. Vincent to Canada was canceled. The workers arrived via the Cruise Ship “Serenade of the Seas” on Saturday morning and remained in Saint Lucia for a few days until they were able to board a flight to Canada.

Grenada sends personnel and other support to St Vincent

While wreaking havoc on the lives of residents, many of whom had to evacuate the northern part of the island categorised as the Red Zone, the entire population continued to cope with a myriad of issues, from the destruction of property, livestock, and crops, the presence of volcanic ash which is dangerous to human health, disruptions in telecommunications services to contaminated water supplies. To this end, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) came to the aid of the people of St. Vincent with a donation of bottled water.

La Soufrière Eruption – ECTEL Sends Water to St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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ECTEL’s Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Millet learned of the urgent need for water.  He said, “ECTEL stands in solidarity with the people…We cannot begin to comprehend the distress they must be feeling, having to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, and now this natural phenomenon.”  The matter of further assistance to St. Vincent and the Grenadines was discussed at the 41st Meeting of ECTEL’s Council of Ministers, the result being a donation of 24 pallets of water departed Saint Lucia on Wednesday, April 14, and arrived in St. Vincent on Friday, April 16. 

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Environment, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM, Volcano, Volcano0 Comments

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Progressives say Biden infrastructure bill isn’t big enough: “We can’t go back to business as usual”

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“This is not nearly enough,” Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez says
By Jon Skolnik
April 1, 2021 5:34PM (UTC)
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joe Biden (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden proposed a $2 trillion federal spending package on Wednesday that would revamp the country’s crumbling infrastructure, taking specific aim at pollution, job creation, housing, and corporate taxes. But many on the left who have championed the Green New Deal say the president’s plan isn’t big enough. 

“This is not nearly enough,” tweeted Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y, regarding the size of the bill. “The important context here is that it’s $2.25T spread out over 10 years. For context, the COVID package was $1.9T for this year *alone,* with some provisions lasting 2 years. Needs to be way bigger.

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“I think it’s a step towards our vision of a Green New Deal,” Ellen Sciales, a spokesperson for Sunrise Movement, echoed. “But the truth is this does not meet the scale and the scope of what we need to meet the true scale and urgency of the climate crisis.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, likewise called the bill a “fine starting point.”

Under Biden’s current proposal, the federal government would, among other measures, allot $621 billion to transportation infrastructures such as bridges, ports, and roads; put $580 billion toward American manufacturing, job training, and research and development; designate $400 billion to care for elderly and disabled Americans; invest $300 billion into constructing and repairing affordable housing, as well as schools; infuse the U.S. electric vehicle industry with $174 billion, and dedicate $5 billion to repair every lead pipe and service line nationally.

“These are investments we have to make,” Biden said of the bill on Wednesday. “We can afford to make them. To put it another way — we can’t afford not to.”

However, many progressive Democrats have already proposed a spate of separate bills designed to expand the bill’s scope of influence. For instance, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Andry Levin, D-Mich., introduced a bill that would subsidize the purchase of sustainable products made in America. 

The Progressive Congressional Caucus on Monday floated the Transform, Heal and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) Act, which calls for a $10 trillion investment in green infrastructure, renewable energy, and other climate justice measures over the next decade. The bill heavily addresses racial inequality and dedicates 40% of federal investments to minority groups that have been “excluded, oppressed and harmed by racist unjust practices.”

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“We are facing a series of intersecting crises,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, the bill’s co-sponsor, said. “Climate change, a public health pandemic, racial injustice and economic inequality. We can’t defeat any of these crises alone. We must develop a roadmap for recovery that addresses them all.”

An analysis conducted by the Sierra Club, an environmental nonprofit, found that the THRIVE Act would generate 15 million jobs. The bill is part of a broader push spearheaded by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who unveiled the THRIVE agenda when she was representative for New Mexico. According to Data for Progress, Haaland’s agenda drew broad support from Americans, especially swing voters.

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“We need a plan that will end the unemployment crisis, but we need this plan to also fight systemic racism, protect public health and drastically cut down on climate pollution,” Markey said. “We cannot go back to business as usual. We have a chance to truly, in this moment, to build back better and greener than ever before.” 

Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, AlterNet, and The New York Daily News. MORE FROM Jon SkolnikFOLLOW @skolnik_jon

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Energy, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology, Technology, TOURISM0 Comments

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4 Benefits Of Sleeping With a Garlic Clove Under Your Pillow

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It could be that you live in a time of vampires and werewolves. In this case, sleeping with a clove of garlic under your pillow should also be supported by a silver cross above your bed, holy water at the door, and a wooden stake at your right hand.

If you keep garlic under your pillow below things will happen.

1.Garlic Repels Mosquitoes & Other Bugs

Garlic makes a powerful natural toxic insect repellent. The natural repellent nature of garlic makes it a perfect tool for keeping pests off plants. Garlic water is simple to make and easy to administer. It can be used on vegetables or on flowering plants. keeping garlic under your pillow will avoid mosquitoes and spider bites. mosquitoes attract carbon dioxide when we exhale so eating garlic doesn’t seem to be as effective if u want to repel insects.

2.Garlic Cures Insomnia

Do you suffer from panic attacks or have trouble sleeping? Putting garlic under your pillow will definitely make you have better sleep. this remedy is been used since ancient times. The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of garlic keep the body fluids and organs healthy and infection-free. It also aids in the healthy functioning of the heart and brain, thus regulating the sleep cycle. magnesium and potassium intake will be high if you eat garlic. it relaxes your muscles by producing a chemical called GABA. GABA is the body’s signal that it’s time to calm down, and it chills out your brain cells so that they can begin the restorative work that happens overnight.

3.Garlic An Anti-Bacteria

Fresh, raw garlic has proven itself since ancient times as an effective killer of bacteria and viruses. it is an anti-bacterial agent that can actually inhibits the growth of infectious agents and at the same time protect the body from pathogens. Once again, we can thank allicin. because it is able to block two groups of enzymes that allow infectious microbes to survive in a host body. Garlic can prevent infection inside or outside the body. so having garlic under your pillow at bedtime will make you sick less.

4.Garlic Makes You Breathe Better

Some compounds garlic can be responsible for bad breath and even body odor. These include Allicin. When the garlic is crushed, it turns into allicin, an antibiotic that fights against fungal and bacterial infection. Garlic can also help clear blocked nasal passages if you are suffering from a cold easing nocturnal breathing and reducing snoring, which in turn aids restful sleep, and also you can crush 3-4 garlic cloves into boiling water and inhale the steam. you will breathe easier than before.

Posted in Education, Environment, Health, International, Local, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

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