New measure for travellers entering Antigua and Barbuda

VC Bird International airport

UPDATE:PM says second COVID test on arrival in Antigua and Barbuda is optional

The Antigua and Barbuda government says fully vaccinated visitors to the island will now have to undergo PCR testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) three days before their arrival on the island.

The government says the new measure is as a result of the new strains of the virus that are more easily transmissible. It said that the requirement will be made effective June 1.


“The same three-day rule will apply to those who are not fully vaccinated or those who have not been vaccinated at all,” said the statement issued following the weekly Cabinet meeting.


It said that 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…vaccine–entry into Antigua and Barbuda ought to be made easier.”


The statement said that upon presenting themselves to the Quarantine Authority at the VC 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 bio-secure 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.”


But the statement noted that other arriving passengers, who are not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, will be dispatched to either the Government Quarantine Centre, 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 government said it is encouraging 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.”


Meanwhile, the Cabinet was informed that nearly 3,000 adults have taken their required second shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine as required, in order to boost efficacy.


“The minister (of health) advised that no evidence of the dangerous Indian strain of the coronavirus has yet been discovered in Antigua and Barbuda. Now is the time to take the vaccine since it will ready the immune system to fight the easily transmissible strain, preventing hospitalisation and death. The crisis in India can only be replicated if un-vaccinated adults become victims of this highly contagious and dangerous strain,” the statement added.

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  1. Can someone explain Please? So I am a U.K. citizen and had both my vaccinations. I will have a PCR test within 72hours of traveling to Antigua. And now am required to have another test on arrival D.C. Bird Airport. Can I then travel to my Government approved Villa on the Island to Quarantine for 48hrs? Many Thanks.

    • I’m guessing you won’t have to quarantine at all some Antigua has not been quarantining tourists throughout the entire pandemic.

      These new rules will likely apply only to citizens, residents and those on student visas.

      You probably just need a 72 test

    • @ Mr. Carrier.
      Firstly, THANK YOU for choosing Antigua for your summer break, we look forward to welcoming you.

      Indeed, the Advisory is long-winded and a bit confusing.
      The Ministry of Health have been allowing bona fide visitors to go directly to their SUN SEA SAFE Certified Accommodation. We have Villas, Air BnB and Hotels that are certified and visitors have been enjoying.
      Therefore you should be good to go!

      The Fully Vaccinated protocol is a very new advisory and apparently comes into effect on June 1st, but that might change, along with who in reality is tested at the airport and in reality what type of test is used.

      Please keep checking the Antigua & BARBUDA Tourism Authority website for updates.
      Also, there is a Tourism Flexibility Notice on the Arrivals Protocols page which should reassure you that you will probably be free to move about from day one.,determined%20by%20the%20Health%20Authorities.

      Please enjoy your holiday.

  2. “The crisis in India can only be replicated” by the un-vaccinated? What happens if the fully vaccinated get exposed, dont they catch it as well? Cant the fully vaccinated spread it as well? We know they can Mr. Health Minister.

    So the onus is on you to protect our borders. I am not saying to close the borders but stop the nonsense of allowing special privilege to anyone because they are vaccinated. If both vaccinated and un-vaccinated can catch and spread the virus, then the rules should pay to ALL. As a matter if fact, the vaccinated may be more prone to spreading it since they may be Asymptomatic, while you are more likely to see the signs on the unvaccinated.

    These relaxed rules are just designed to encourage vaccinated but actually are negative to the control if the pandemic.

  3. So why would you have to take a test before you go if they still gonna test you on arrival anyways 🤦🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️

  4. Absolutely crazy idea for locals and tourists alike… Who is paying for the test inside the airport???

  5. Hi, Jeff!According to this article which could have been written a bit better, i.e. for utmost clarity:

    For fully vaccinated persons entering the state at the 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 bio-secure space at one of the hotels” while they await the test results.

    Fully vaxxed folk will receive results in 48 hours and be allowed to forego the remainder of the quarantine period once the result is negative.

    I hope this helps, and pardon the folly of the previous commenter.

    Travel safely!

  6. Government obviously not bothered if you contract Covid within Antigua because all those tests do not prevent you from testing positive during your stay

  7. ANR this is the third time you have run this story in 3-days, yet you don’t bring previous comments with the story.

    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 UK Heathrow and not give a damn?

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

    FYI Antigua is not alone in protecting itself by requiring of fully vaccinated people:
    a. negative PCR 72-hrs or less before arrival
    b. Test on arrival (though most use rapid testing)
    c. ‘quarantine’ in Certified space to await test results, if negative, released (some do not do this, some say 24-hrs, some 3-days)
    Just check other Caribbean destinations & some countries around the world.
    YES traveling has become a lot more difficult, expensive and time-consuming.

  8. 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!

    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.

    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…

  9. Where are the persons who ordered the hit on Nigel Christian? Did he discover who “forged” the signatures?

    World dictator traitor tyrant Gaston Browne will have his day. Then our nation will be set free.

    Where are the persons who ordered the hit on Nigel Christian? Did he discover who “forged” the signatures?

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