The prime minister’s message to Canadians Monday afternoon called for people who are abroad to come back home as soon as possible, so one New Brunswick couple vacationing in Barbados has spent the last several days scrambling to try and book flights to get back to Riverview.
“As the weeks went by it got a little more crazy and worrisome,” said Allen Green who has been vacationing in Bridgetown, Barbados with his wife since mid February.
The couple were planning to come back home in May. But given how quickly COVID-19 is spreading across the globe, they want to get home as quickly as possible.
“We were finally able to book something today for Monday,” said Green.
Green said he paid $2,000 to buy three one-way tickets after he struggled to get through to Westjet to switch his return tickets.
“Nobody can be on the phone for two days, so instead of doing that I just booked three brand new one-way tickets.”
He said he is unwilling to take any chances with his 73-year-old mother who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“I would hate for her to be stuck here in this country and for her insurance to run out, and also I have employees in Moncton that I have to take care of and make sure that they are safe,” Green said.
As the owner of Huron Dust Control, a company that delivers and cleans commercials mats in Moncton, he said that shutting down his business will protect his employees.
Green said he feels for local business owners in Barbados too, since most vacationers have left the island and locals are fearful of the long term impacts.
“80 or 90 per cent of the businesses in countries like this, it is tourism, so when you take out all the cruise ships, and flights then nobody will be in hotels and resorts, so there are going to be thousands of jobs lost.”
Green and his family have no issue being in self-isolation upon their return, and he said they will just be grateful that they were able to get home.
“You look at the other countries like Spain and Italy and I think the best thing is for people to stay home and stay calm.”