Pre-departure testing for all international arrivals from Antigua to UK takes effect Jan. 21

nurse holds a swab for the coronavirus / covid19 test

The UK Government has confirmed that mandatory pre-departure testing for all inbound passengers to England from most countries in the world will begin from 4am this Friday (15 January) to safeguard public health. For arrivals from Antigua and Barbuda this will come in to force for all passengers arriving from 4am UK time on Thursday 21 January.


All arrivals must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken no more than three (3) days prior to departure


Detailed guidance for passengers published today on GOV.UK


Operators have the right to refuse boarding for passengers without a negative result and completed passenger locator form in the coming weeks – and those found travelling without the right documents risk being fined £500


Antigua and Barbuda remains on the UK’s “Travel Corridors” list so arrivals from the country will not need to self-isolate on arrival, however all travellers must follow the UK’s national lockdown rules


The move will bolster existing measures already in place to guard


against a concerning increase in new variants of COVID-19 circulating internationally.


Detailed guidance published on GOV.UK today sets out how passengers should follow the new rules – including the details of documents needed for travel and the types of test accepted.


Before travelling, passengers will need to find a provider which meets the standards set out on – the majority of which will be Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. If passengers do not use a PCR test they should request that their test provider includes the sensitivity and specificity of the test on their test result certificate.


Prior to departure, passengers will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to transport operators, as well as their passenger locator form. Carriers may deny boarding to those who do not have a negative test result. The UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrival into England, with passengers who arrive at the border without proof of a negative result subject to an immediate £500 fine.



A limited number of exemptions will be in place, including but not exclusive to children under the age of 11, hauliers – to allow the free flow of freight – and air, international rail and maritime crew. Passengers who fail to complete a test, without a reasonable excuse, will commit a criminal offence and face a £500 fine.


There will also be exceptions for passengers travelling from countries without the infrastructure to deliver an adequate test, including St Helena, Ascension Island and the Falklands. Short term temporary exceptions will apply to four additional destinations so that Britons are able to return home.


The current advice for those across the UK remains that you must stay at home and not travel abroad unless it is for a permitted exempt reason. For people arriving from countries not on the Travel Corridor list, they will still be required to complete a mandatory self-isolation period, and the Travel Corridors list is regularly reviewed to manage the risk of imported cases of COVID-19 from high-risk countries.


Passengers still have the option to reduce their self-isolation period as part of the Test to Release scheme launched last month, unless they have been in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia or Zimbabwe in the 10 days prior to their arrival in England.


All travellers will still be required to complete a Passenger Locator Form before arrival into England. On arrival into England, Border Force will check passengers’ test certificates and Passenger Locator Forms through the current spot check regime.

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  1. OK so now Canada and UK require pcr test for entry into country.
    Does Antigua have the testing capacity to get these tests done and results returned in the 3 day time frame?

  2. Pause a moment. This is a long post. Medical Professionals Stop overcharging for testing!

    On reading UK Govt website & contacting 3 listed UK test centers, this is what I think is accurate (however UK govt adjusts advice regularly).

    Must be administered by a medical professional & report of outcome with type, sensitivity & specificity.

    Current guidance by the Public Health England and Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency UK states certified medical professionals can offer Covid-19 RT-PCR Swab Tests and Antibody Tests (Capillary or Venous blood samples).
    (the UK cannot currently handle demand for Medical Professional delivered rt-pcr tests so presumably UK understands the challenges for all countries – Antigua Min of Health take note).

    PLEASE private medical professionals in Antigua STOP RIPPING OFF TRAVELERS (locals & tourists).
    Some Caricom islands are offering US$55-60 private in-office rapid tests including the required report.
    Tourism is needed in Antigua after these global crises wane.
    Message boards & TripAdvisor posts of US$450pp tests facilitated at their hotel are giving our island a bad name.

    Hotels be sure to offer guests OPTIONS of in-office testing with accurate cost AND at-hotel testing with accurate cost, ideally from a choice of providers.

    Medical Professionals:
    Yes cover your costs.
    Yes make a reasonable profit
    NO – DO NOT GOUGE PEOPLE – your greed will impact all of us negatively economically down the line .

    UK is continually reviewing & increasing countries that must self-isolate on arrival, joining the USA, Brazil, Israel, China, India, UAE – who all remain on the list. Note these do not appear to be racially determined decisions & nor should they be.

    U K is a currently a High Risk Country, and deaths/hospitalizations are escalating daily, pushing their health service to breaking point, yet UK tourists do not test on arrival here and are in our bars & supermarkets on day of arrival.

  3. I paid under $200 USD for a RT-PCR test to return to Antigua. Results took under 36 hours, were guaranteed within 48.

    • @Stuart good to know & cost is interesting. Curious, Was this from UK? Was it mail in or nurse administered?

  4. So far approximately 99 percent of MSJMC C19 tests are negative but the ones going to CARPHA were 50 percent positive in the last batch.

    Definitely concerning.

    It will look very bad if tourists are coming here negative and leaving positive because it will reveal the rampant community spread on the island the government has been hiding for a year.

    I just don’t see how the powers that be in Antigua would allow MSJMC to release accurate results to departing tourists for that reason.

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