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.”