Airport Could Re-open By Mid-June, Visitors To Undergo COVID-19 Tests Before Entering

VC Bird International Airport terminal

The Government of Antigua & Barbuda says the V.C Bird International Airport could open by mid-June.

Minister of Tourism Charles Max Fernandez gave a report on the return of air carriers during Cabinet yesterday. He said the dates given by the carriers still are tentative.

“…there is much hope that by mid-June, tourists from several source markets, after undergoing tests for Covid-19 before alighting the aircraft, will arrive Antigua for tests to be undertaken at the V.C. Bird Airport,” Cabinet announced.

The airport closed on March 26 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. So far 24 people have been infected with the virus in Antigua and Barbuda.


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  1. You really want me to believe that you’ll be able to test thousands of persons at the airport?

    Are you guys aware that a persons could be asymptomatic AT THE TIME OF TESTING, right?

    Look, honestly, don’t force it open. Take your time. I know tourism is what drives the nation, but maybe this is a blessing, forcing us to find another way to make money in our country.

    • Antigua is dying from the lack of tourism and the fact the medical students went home. All they have left is a few mangoes hanging from the trees to survive and bake chicken. Reopen the borders and keep robbing those foreigners and med students as usual.

    • FYI, Infected people who are asymptomatic are still carrying ( and spreading) the virus, so they will test positive.

      Symptoms of infection are actually created by chemicals released by our immune system, not the virus. That’s why, for instance, people with HIV don’t have any symptoms of the infection – the HIV virus attacks key parts of the immune system that would normally be responsible for releasing chemicals that create the symptoms.

    • Antigua has lots to offer the world Black pineapple the best mango sugar cane and so on. Farming is Antigua let’s push our products. #AntiguaSweet

    • I agree. Visitors who weren’t even tested in their own country. Also they are in Antigua Barbuda and their country of residence have a second wave and shut down that means they are stuck in Antigua Barbuda on our Treasury which us already compromised. It’s time we look at other export products.

  2. How in the hell are you going to ensure that ALL travelers to Antigua on all of the different airlines from various countries have a Covid test in advance of their flights? Have are you going to enforce that at the airports where the passengers board? And how soon before the flight must the test be taken? This is an impossible task to enforce.

    • Open up the airport so people can leave and go back to their families and homes. Don’t allow new comers in, but going out shouldn’t be restricted! People have been here since March. It’s time for them to go home. Please and thanks!

  3. you seem to be saying you are going to “test” them before they leave the plane. Misleading because you are not going to test them, it’s impossible, you are going to check for symptoms, an entirely different thing. And as mentioned above, they could be infected just not showing symptoms

  4. The key is in proper accurate testing. Emirates Air is doing it now. Their results are complete in 10 min telling if the person has it had it or is negative. We need to find safe ways to open back up. Taking all the precautions and moving forward.

    • Wayne, proper and accurate are as foreign as Emirates Air. Have you not noticed that nothing that is government-run is ever maintained. Right now, the issues that have kept the government lab underperforming for years could not be surmounted for local testing services to be provided during this pandemic.
      This country is too divided and too grabby grabby for anything to work as it should.

  5. It is very easy to say to keep our borders closed and at the same time not providing alternatives to keep our economy going. dead, flat on its face. The idea, as one person would have mentioned, is to find as much ways to move forward and with or without the Covid-19 being. What if there’s no vaccine, or not until the end of 2021?… Do we wait or find ways to coexist with this virus. No economy in the world can keep it’s borders as well as business shut done for an unlimited length of time and just sit down and wait. We plan as we wait then we execute by using the necessary protocols once have been internationally approved. If people are traveling to come here, one would have to believe and expect that the same measures per principle would be implemented when leaving their country BY now, I would want to think that most of us have begun to realize that the Covid-19 will be here for awhile. LETS FIND A WAY TO LIVE as we already know that we have to die.

  6. I’m reading the comments and some of you are saying they shouldn’t allow anyone in. There are tons of Antiguan students stuck overseas, like myself, who aren’t able to leave because the airport is closed. How about they allow nationals in and let those persons who want to leave do so?

  7. Why would people want to engage in communal living if there is no vaccine….the only travellers will be returning residents and business people or high end wanderers who can fly in on private jets, stay in villas, and fly out to nanebrand hospitals if they start to feel unwell.
    Antiguans make up your mind to farm or to explore the financial offshore market!!!!!
    Dont let politicians try to fool you.

    • I know many young and mid aged travelers / backpackers who hitchhike boats to travel around the world. These type of curious people are not intended to go home even without vaccines. Not everybody has the precautions.

  8. I’m finding it hard to believe that by mid June we’ll be at a point where tourists will be flocking to travel to Antigua.

    Firstly, many will be stuggling to leave their embarkation points due to lockdowns and movement restrictions…

    Those that are able to move around, will have financial/employment situations to deal with, due to the fact that they may not have not been able to work fully since this pandemic surfaced, or may not have jobs to go back to because of it!

    As we are all aware, there is currently no vaccine, which means people will still be fearful of being around people and places, and will not want to be abroad in a place where others from around the world are congregating for vacation purposes unless they are certain that social distance measures are being implemented.

    Who will want to risk their health and sanity by being on an international vacation, where they do not know or trust the medical capabilities of that place, or are fearful of being caught up in another wave of the pandemic. It is very unlikely that the foreign office of most countries will allow unecessary travel, which means they will not repatriate people (again) if there are problems.

    And alongside this, we have to think about the airlines and how many will financially survive this pandemic!

    This is a hard reboot moment for society to think about the world that we live in!

    It’s (finaly/about) time to think about how we will move forward as an island, without tourism as our mainstay.

  9. I like this story.

    Now we know there is a plan, we can work towards it and have enough time to dot the Is and cross the Ts.

    Planning is essential and this is a feel good story.

    If it does not go according to plan that is ok to, since complexities can affect the best of plans.

    This is what we need more of plans and details of achieving.

  10. Thank you AJ … that’s just a symptom, once u are given a test if you have it .. symptom or not, it will be detected .. Not So Common! Thank You .. makes no sense. The government can’t ensure every person from Europe and the U.S. plus smaller Caribbean islands, will be tested before arriving and THERE IS NO WAY ANTIGUA CANT TEST upwards of 800-1000 passengers a day. I agree they should arrange with airlines to let people go home to their countries but the country should remain closed .

  11. The government can’t ensure every person from Europe and the U.S. plus smaller Caribbean islands, will be tested before arriving and THERE IS NO WAY ANTIGUA CANT TEST upwards of 800-1000 passengers a day. Opening the borders To the world in less than 90 days in my opinion is unsafe.

    Places in CHINA are now entering anther phase of lockdown and Italy and the U.K are still on lockdown because the virus is still crippling these countries.. not to mention the U.S. is still riddled with the virus with hundreds a day still dying. These are the places people will fly from.

    Antigua! The last island to close its borders and technically didn’t even close, the airlines just stop flying here so they were forced to close, wants to be the first to reopen???

    The fact is Antigua has NO WAY of sustaining itself financially NONE! Most other Caribbean countries depend on tourism as well, but they also try to produce other things to sustain themselves.. ANTIGUA, FOR ITSELF DOES NOTHING OF FINANCIAL VALUE .. .. so we need the almighty foreign dollar by any means or risk necessary.

    There are so many Caribbean countries that export fruits, bananas, they export building products .. there are Caribbean islands that produce even for their own consumptions. As Antiguans we own nothing locally and we produce and sell nothing to provide for ourselves.

    Funny though, I thought we were the self proclaim economic powerhouse of the Caribbean. Guess not!

  12. First of all all the national that have been waiting to come home ,I think they should get first priority ….

  13. Thank You Elsa G! Well said! Antigua come on, its 2020! Let find a way to make our selves productive on our own.

    Yes, we will depend on tourism but that cannot be all that we eat. We can’t be depending on foreigners 100% to bring food to our table. now that we see how vulnerable we are as a nation, depending on others, let’s invest in ourselves PLEASE !!!!

    Let’s try to produce something jack at least a little every year and let’s try to market it so we can export something.. let’s invest in a factory. Something Jack!!!

  14. No easy decisions herein A & B or around the globe…..would not want to be in the PM’s shoes. Let’s see how the cabinet handle this crisis. 2008 melt down is nothing compared to this. Opposition parties must be happy they are not the ones having to deal with this and waiting for a failure so come next election (which may be as early as 2021) they may be able to capture the governance.

  15. How about just letting in the foreign students attending school on Antigua first? Test them and see how that works before allowing in tourists? The students are more vested in Antigua because they go to school here and live here.

  16. I find it interesting that the article states airport closed to prevent the spread of virus.
    It closed because no airlines were flying here as boarders closed

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