Further loosening and tightening of controls for visitors, returning residents


CABINET NOTES: The Cabinet invited the Chief Medical Officer and the Head of the Sir Lester Bird Mount St. John Medical Center Laboratory to the meeting in order to have the officials address a further loosening and tightening of the controls regarding visitors and returning residents entering Antigua and Barbuda.

The gazetted regulations currently call for a PCR Test, administered no more than seven days before getting on board the aircraft heading for Antigua.

For those who are fully vaccinated — meaning, those who have taken the two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, or the single dose in the case of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine–entry into Antigua and Barbuda ought to be made easier.

However, because of the new strains of the virus that are more easily transmissible, the number of days for which the PCR test is to be administered prior to travel is reduced to three.

This requirement will be made effective on June 1, 2021.

The same three-day rule will apply to those who are not fully vaccinated, or those who have not been vaccinated at all.

Upon presenting themselves to the Quarantine Authority at the V.C. Bird Airport, a PCR Test will be administered at that point of entry. Those who are visitors will be dispatched to their reserved place at a biosecure space at one of the hotels that had been certified by the Central Board of Health; those who are residents and have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to return to their homes.

Other arriving passengers–who are not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all–will be dispatched to either the Government Quarantine Center, or to their homes depending upon the conditions at the private residences.

Those who are fully vaccinated will then have their airport test results revealed in 48 hours and be allowed to end their quarantine immediately, if the results are negative; those whose test results are positive will be required to spend 14 days in quarantine and be tested a second time before their release on the 14th day.

Those who are not fully vaccinated or who have had no vaccinations administered will also have their test results revealed within five days, and may be allowed to end their quarantine within seven days, following arrival, if the results are negative. Arriving passengers may pay for the tests in advance.

The Cabinet encourages every adult in every household to get fully vaccinated and to do so certainly before they travel away from Antigua and Barbuda. The Cabinet reminds that many of the destinations served by departing aircraft will shortly require all visitors to those cities and countries to which the aircraft fly  to be fully vaccinated.

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  1. Great move in the right direction; however the 3 day rule is more restrictive. In most places it takes 2 days for PCR results which makes the timing difficult. Can I suggest that the GOAB consider the results of the CDC study of 500,000 HCP released May 14, Google is. If you are vaccinated you will not get COVID 19.

  2. What is the on arrival test cost for tourists and is it a rapid antigen test or PCR RT test?

  3. The 3 day is way restrictive. Are they allowing people to pick up individuals from the airport if they are fully vaccinated and picking up a visitor that is fully vaccinated or still making people use airport taxis to make a buck

  4. so you are charging everyone for a PCR test at the airport, regardless whether they had a PCR test 3 days prior??????? you must be joking, no one is going to agree to this

  5. As someone who has been critical of the government’s handling of covid, these are sensible restriction and protocols. Except for the part of allowing residents to possibly quarantine at home “depending upon the conditions at the private residences.” They should have learned by now that people can’t be trusted to quarantine at home.

  6. If we are flying in from the UK having previously taken a PCR test prior to be allowed to fly, I cannot see any reason for yet a further PCR test on landing in Antigua?

    pure madness.
    The lab at msjmc does not have the CAPACITY to process the volume of PCR tests from increasing arrivals and certainly not within 48-hours…heck departing travelers currently are not guaranteed their departing pcr test in time to travel.

    WHY NOT USE RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING on fully vaccinated arrivals? Invite a private lab to set up the facility at the airport, and give fully vaccinated people results same day????
    Our major source markets use this test, many of our Caricom nations use this test.

    WHY is the CMO locked into the PCR when science has moved on for fully vaccinated people?
    WHY is Sir Health not advocating for a practical, do-able, low risk approach to arrival tests for fully vaccinated people?

    Min of Tourism Max, will the Tourism Flexibility remain? I.e. all tourists free to go where they please from day one? Will THEY all be tested at airport?!

    + imagine the length of time to conduct all these tests… How you going to ORGANIZE the process for the COMFORT of the passenger? Or will you be like Heathrow and not give a damn?

    Please, let’s have some real world sanity here.

  8. Antigua and Barbuda are about to lose tourism revenue from me and my fiancée (we’re both fully vaccinated!), and I’m sure from a significant number of other people. We’re going to switch our honeymoon to a less restrictive island, so good luck Antigua and Barbuda on your economic recovery.

  9. I’m not understanding. If someone took a PCR Test 72 hrs before arriving in Antigua (which it’s hard to get results in 3 days ) why then would you need another PCR test 36 hours after taking the first one in your home country, especially if you are fully vaccinated… Then you have to quarantine for 2 days to get the results .. then go about your business, once negative???

    So for a 7 day vacation, someone who is FULLY VACCINATED, have to run around 3 days prior, stress about getting results in time to board a plane, then be subjected to another test, all while fully vaccinated, get that test taken as soon as they land in Antigua, go to the hotel and quarantine for 48 hrs while they wait for results … all while fully vaccinated, then after in 2 days, if the airport staff, who is testing every arriving passenger doesn’t mess up your results, and you are negative then you can go about your vacation???

    For the next 4 days left!?!

    NO THANK YOU!!! I’ll go to one of the other Caribbean countries that just need a negative PCR test upon arrival.

    For people who are already FULLY VACCINATED!


  10. To Angry groom and Nonsense at its best,

    You are both right. Most Caribbean islands and mexico are freeing up restrictions. Mexico’s tourism has boomed in the last few months.. I am from Antigua and love here and I am disappointed that the government has made this decision.

    I’m sorry you both won’t be visiting. And yes you are right, with leaders like these, our country and tourism is doomed..

    America is fully open!!!! People have STOPPED wearing masks.. and have gotten vaccinated. The risk of the fully vaccinated is low so why are they still being punished in Antigua. .. AMERICANS ARE MOVING AROUND, TRAVELING AND VACATIONING AND ANTIGUA IS LOSING OUT ON THE MONEY THEY ARE SPENDING BECAUSE OF POOR LEADERSHIP…

  11. This govt is full of shit. All they try to do is bilk money by any means necessary so they can line their pockets. All the vermin need to be voted out especially world dictator traitor tyrant Gaston Browne.

    Where are the masterminds who are responsible for the execution style murder of Nigel Christian? Did Nigel find out who “forged” the signature? Was it someone high in politics?

  12. What does this mean for a family of four, where adults are fully vaccinated and children are too young to receive the vaccine? I need answers ASAP as we are supposed to arrive early June. Will we have to quarantine at our condo? (Not staying at a hotel)

    • I am in exactly same situation and would be good to know what the process is. Myself, wife and son have had both vaccines but daughter of 16 no. I cannot book confidently until i know for sure if we have to quarantine etc….

  13. Why should we pay for a PCR Covid test at the airport when we need this test prior to boarding the air craft? Is there a reason why there is no mention of the cost of this test at the airport in your article ( my guess is, it is way above the cost of the test). Did you guys think this through? This is so senseless. You are only hurting Antigua. For us visitors, do you seriously think that we would be looking to contract COVID-19 in Antigua. Give me a break!!!!

  14. Mr Gaston Browne, as someone who absolutely loves Antigua, please rethink this crazy policy of a PCR test 3 days before arrival and another on arrival even for fully vaccinated travellers. Antiguan tourism needs a boost not a tightening of the noose. You need to keep everyone safe, Antiguans and visitors, but this policy will damage your tourism sector and put off travellers, which you can’t afford to do after the last dreadful year. You are playing roulette with peoples businesses and livelihoods, please, please think again.

  15. I am a Travel Advisor who specializes on Sandals.
    Just got two cancellation and they rebooked for Barbados. Who has a phenomenal protocol
    Your corrupt government doesn’t give a shit about their citizens. No arrivals no money for those who really work hard. Unlike them government who is most likely Living La Vida Loca God help us all

  16. Why can’t the government pay for the PCR test ? Why is it the tourist responsibility to pay ? Makes no sense !

  17. Supposed to be flying out 15th June. Had booked and paid for pre departure test. Now you change it to 3 days before plus another test on arrival then 48 hours quarantine despite being fully vaccinated. We have now cancelled our hotel and requested a change of destination with BA. Such a shame but won’t be part of this.

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