Government confirms partial U-turn on controversial beach restrictions which come into effect on Monday

Residents decrying controversial new beach restrictions set to come into effect on Monday will see some reprieve, government has confirmed a partial U-turn on the hour it will be closed to the public. The prime minister’s chief of staff Lionel Hurst has reported that beach goers will be able to use the nation beaches between the hours of 5am to 5pm on weekdays. The curtailed hours of 5am till noon which was announced yesterday will only apply on weekends. The amended times were posted on Prime Minister Gaston Browne personal Facebook page last night, hours after cabinet announced the unpopular measure which sparked widespread outcry.

In addition to the fallout among local residents, fears have developed over the impact on the country’s main stay if tourists are barred from using Antigua and Barbuda’s often touted 365 beaches during the afternoons. Whether the olive branch would be enough to appease people remains to be seen, for many tourists, beach sunsets are a vacation staple.

Meanwhile the UK government is set to announce its latest travel advisory later today. Speculation has been brought up where Antigua and Barbuda may be losing its position on the coveted green list of approved destinations in its second biggest tourism source market.