Tourists Visiting Antigua Will Undergo Testing Before Boarding Aircraft Says PM

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Antigua and Barbuda, plans to have tourists undergo rapid testing for the novel coronavirus before boarding aircraft to visit its sun splashed beaches.

In Antigua, where the disease has decimated the government’s coffers, officials are promoting a COVID-free tourism environment. Under the proposed plan, visitors will be confined to the premises of their hotels, including the beaches, but not allowed to mingle with the locals or participate in mass gatherings.

“The local staff will be the younger, healthier ones who would use masks and use proper hygiene etiquette to control the contracting and the spread,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne highlighted.

“They will live on property with the guests to prevent inadvertent community spread in the unlikely event they contract the virus.”

But before even getting to Antigua, visitors would need to undergo rapid testing by the airlines.

“It’s not foolproof, but the test, wearing masks, social distancing and good hygiene will have to be employed to manage the risks of contracting and spreading the virus, considering it could remain in our midst,” said Browne, who is looking to reopen his country’s airport by June. “In essence we have to learn to lie and work with COVID, while managing the risks of contracting and spreading the virus.”

37 COMMENTS

      • Yes you have a choice. You could jusy be cool ad 95 percent dont even show symptoms and the risk of mortality is only 0.3 percent or so. Especially as sun, saltwater and fresh air kills the virus..
        I mean its less dangsrous than smoking, drinking alkohol or participating in traffic.. or are you going to ban all that??!

  1. what do you mean by “rapid testing”? Very misleading. It is not possible to do the PCR test on tourists, the process takes to long. So all you can mean by “rapid testing” is you are taking their temperature, which as has been gone over numerous times already, does not detect those who are asymptomatic. You are bringing tourists from the world’s hotspots for the virus, cramming them together on a plane, then saying you are going to restrict their movements and contacts on the island. All of this beggars belief.

    • “Instead of detecting viral genetic material, rapid tests kits target the immune response of the person being infected, looking out specifically for antibodies against the virus or virus antigens. The trouble is that antibodies only develop several weeks after an infection, which means that antibody-based tests might miss asymptomatic cases or people in the earliest stage of the disease.” Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: https://www.asianscientist.com/2020/04/features/covid-19-diagnostics-explained/

      • right, and Im not even sure if he means antibody tests anyway. he is simply trying to pull the wool here. Nobody is using them to detect active infection at present, only whether you’ve had the infection in the past.

      • No, there are actually antigen tests which boast of detecting Civid as early as 2 days after infection. Others within 5.5 fays of infection. Added to that as time progresses the tests are getting better. New tests are rolling out this month. Anyway the same link the guy provided says of another method Cepat:

        “Over in Singapore, researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have developed a kit that combines the best of both worlds: the accuracy of RT-PCR and the speed of rapid diagnostics. Named Cepat, which means fast in Malay, the test uses an enzyme that can amplify viral genetic material at a single temperature rather than Taq polymerase which requires multiple rounds of heating and cooling. The test, which can be conducted on a portable device, can be completed in five to ten minutes, making it one of the fastest COVID-19 tests in the world if approved.”

        • they are antibody tests not antigen tests. and none have been proven and that is why nobody is using them. Who knows what may happen in the future but at the moment rapid testing is a nonsense for tourists coming to Antigua

          • Again you need to research properly. The antigen tests are able to detect the virus earlier than the antibody ones. Yes Aside from serology based tests Abott’s lab rapid tests (ID NOW device) are currently in use and are able to give results in as quick as 5 minutes

    • They have come out with a rapid test last week or the week before. I know they exist because I’m scheduled this Sunday for one due to surgery on Monday 😀

  2. What about residents returning home from the hot spots .That we already know we have to to be tested before boarding the flight. What happen to us when we get home.Do we still have to be quarantined in some hotel. Just want to know.

  3. Will Antigua bear the cost of testing for these tourists before they board the flight?
    Is there currently a COVID-19 test out there that provides instant results?
    In the US the big issue is that they don’t have enough tests to be able to manage the disease. Will US authorities allow limited testing kits to be used to for outbound travel?

    • Antigua does not have any Bears…. always critical of everything the Government says and dont know when to use bare and bear. Smh

      • LOL, LOL, LOL guess the criticism is affecting her spelling and reasoning. I welcome the positive news and will do my part to help my country bounce back from this setback. “Gird your loins and join the battle…”

        There are some people who have a nice glass of negativity punch everyday, but countless others that imbibe POSITIVE VIBES instead.

      • Hey genius,

        Cassandra used the word ‘bear’ properly. You did not.

        It’s amazing you are trying to correct someone and don’t know what the heck you are talking about.

        Here’s a clue: Bare means naked, unclothed or straightforward, simple, plain

        Bear is a type of animal, but the word also means to carry, support, convey

      • Wow!
        You focused on the authors Bear,,,,and not,,,on the three,, extremely pertinent questions,,,that were asked.
        I would then add a fourth and fifth.
        Are we to trust ,that persons doing pre boarding covid test,,did their job well?
        Why not test upon deplaneing,,,here?

      • You should also learn,,, the homophone bear,,,is being used here,,, as a verb,,which is an correct usage.
        You should offer an apology to the author.

  4. Good luck with this Gaston. The testing seems like a good idea but apart form a basic 30 second temperature check I am not sure what else is available to give a result so quickly. Regardless of the test this article appears to suggest that whilst I can come to antigua a burger at half moon bay is out of the question. Wandering around st John’s or driving across country may see me end up in jail and a night out at trappers could see me in front of the firing squad. Cypress is warmer, cheaper and easier to get to from the UK if all I want to do is stay on resort. Remind me, given all of the above why would I want to return to antigua just yet. You must be open or not. When you are I will be on the fist plan to leave Gatwick.

  5. Now I have round trip tickets bought and paid for to Antigua the airline said I have to use them by the end of the year .
    I have been coming to Antigua for over 30 years
    But not to stay in in one place. If this does not change I will change tickets
    To another location.

  6. News flash. The US treasury secretary is advising that international flights to and from the US may not resume until 2021. He further advise that travel, within the US may be more advisable. So good luck with that plan!

  7. This idea of coming into Antigua and be confined to the Hotel property is absurd.I am from Antigua and we come back every year.We would stay in a Hotel.We would rent a car and drive all over the island.We would spend our monies at the local Restaurants,daily.If this is not possible for us to do.We would forgo Antigua this year.No travelling to stay on any Hotels properties and not mix.I would rather stay on my property at my house.Than to spend many thousands of US$ to be confined.

  8. Gaston you need help
    Not sure if it’s been offered and you have declined to accept, but your not thinking clearly. If you can give me the countries that has agreed to testing passengers before they depart to Antigua and Barbuda then I would give you my advice for free, and please keep China off the list. The truth is coming out and there’s nothing you can do, so stop digging a deeper hole for yourself and the people of this country.

  9. So are the tourists going to be tested before they board the aircraft, then tested again when they land and then still stay in one place .. pretty much in limited quarantine??

    But who will willingly plan a vacation, take time off work, spend money to come with their family to stay, basically in quarantine and can’t venture out as they please.. instead of doing that they will just go somewhere else.

    It is the Government’s choice to do what they see for to protect its people.

    I don’t see people jumping to come here know they will be restricted. Before people start planning they will research each country . Hen they realize what will happen when they come, they will continue down the line.

  10. @ Advice Block…..maybe you should look up the verb to bear….you will notice that the verb does not poopoo in the woods……

  11. What tourist wold want to travel to a country on vacation and will not be allowed to leave the place they will be staying? Sounds like a steep mountain to climb.

  12. Why not ask tourists who want to travel to the island to present a recent test to the airlines with a negative result, which will clear them for travel. Upon arrival into the country it can also be presented to officials. Maybe even to go as far as to make arrangements with labs in the country these tourists are coming from so the tests can be properly vetted.

    • You cannot get a test for COVID-19 unless you have symptoms and Mr Browne needs to rethink this whole strategy – why on earth would tourists pay to spend the time sequestered within the confines of a resort and not be able to tour the island and experience what Antigua has to offer.
      I was in Antigua in March of this year and could not understand why the government did not ban any incoming flights from NYC which was the hotspot in the USA – every day we saw them flying over us on the beach

  13. You should also learn,,, the homophone bear,,,is being used here,,, as a verb,,which is an correct usage.
    You should offer an apology to the author.

  14. I’m reading this and shaking my head… I get it… Antigua needs tourism, like the human body needs oxygen to survive… BUT REALLY?

    We are heading into the (home) summer season for the tourists that predominantly come to Antigua, and we are also close to our hurricane season. Why, amidst all of that… would you venture somewhere, where you have to social distance and do all of that crap? No carnival as an attraction, so why would people be heading to Antigua at this time?

    If we had closed borders sooner and pre-empted this situation. then we could have proclaimed how great Antigua is, and Covid free!

    Seems as if the government is watching the news elsewhere and trying to copy other places, rather than being proactive about what our small island should and can do!

    We are now at the mercy of airlines that might or might not continue to come here, but yet still no strong leadership showing. Cruise ships are currently floating coffins, so let’s not focus on them as our saviour! Best they continue floating around before dropping off their passengers on our shores!

    Time to diversify our GDP!!!

    • @ My Island

      That third paragraph is exactly what I stated at the get go.

      WHO, and PAHO call the shots not Antigua’s government. We are led to believe that they are making decisions at Cabinet meetings, not true.

      At Cabinet meetings they review WHO and PAHO’s recommendations and come one up with a plan how they can sell it to the public as if it was their decision. Listen when they speak…..

  15. WHo, PAHO left the borders open until a last one case enter the country this is true for all countries.

    Notice beaches are closed all over the world.

    Notice the confused style of reporting.

    Notice the words used like “social distancing”

    Notice at one point they said mask not effective, then it became mandatory. Remember the confu9 in the US about masks.

    Notice the approximate date to open borders in reference to other international territories.

    Nah they have no choice but to accept tourists. It has nothing to do with the economy, it is about who is controlling the puppet’s strings.

  16. …Ras, just pass de kutchee pan de left hand side. Relax, and watch the changing, of the tides.
    AHHHHH- da BEACH Is Just Da Beginning! So refreshing, so healing, so rewarding!

    Ras replied, ” a wah wid all dis confusing, wid dem wheeling and dealing? Memba Lester de Kum Back Kid, does say; “WHEEL N KUM AGAIN.”

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