ANTIGUA — Antigua & Barbuda is the latest destination to reopen its borders following months of lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 crisis.
A phased approach was announced by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda as it prepares to welcome back guests, starting June 4 with its first commercial flight. According to the Ministry of Health, Wellness & The Environment, the country is now ready to reopen its borders to international and regional travellers with safety protocols in place.
“The health and safety of our residents and our guests will always be our top priority,” said Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez, Minister of Tourism & Investment. “Despite the severe economic strain on our economy resulting from the closure of our tourism industry, we waited until we were in a position to reassure both our citizens and our prospective guests that every precaution is being taken to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday experience.”
Measures to be taken in phase one of the reopening plan are as follows:
- All arriving passengers must have a mask in their possession for use on disembarkation, which must be worn in public areas throughout their stay in destination.
- All arriving passengers must complete a health declaration form. Screenings and thermal checks will occur on arrival and passengers may be asked to undergo coronavirus testing on arrival.
- With regard to airport transfers, up to four members of a family are allowed in a single vehicle while larger commercial passenger transport vehicles are permitted to carry only 50% of the vehicle seating capacity. Vehicles must be kept clean and sanitized after each trip, and all will be equipped with hand sanitizer. All vehicles will be subject to random inspections by public health officers, and certified vehicles will clearly display a decal indicating safety approval.
- Passengers arriving by private yachts and ferry services are subject to the guidelines issued by Port Health.
- All Marine Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services will enter only at the Nevis Street Pier.
- All hospitality accommodations, including hotels, resorts, villas and home rentals, must satisfy the stipulations of the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment and be certified prior to reopening.
- Restaurant dining protocols include enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, incorporate physical distancing measures, and will offer à la carte dining and delivery or takeout services, instead of a buffet.