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Antigua and Barbuda adopt a phased reopening from June 4th


It has been reported by media outlets that The Government of Antigua & Barbuda has announced that it will reopen the country’s tourism and hospitality sector using a phased and controlled approach from June 4th. The Ministry of Health, Wellness & The Environment has ascertained that the country is ready to reopen the borders to international and regional travellers as long as a series of travel safety protocols are adhered to.

These requirements impact every element of the visitor experience, from arrivals at ports of entry, through ground transfers, resort accommodations, restaurants, tours and attractions.

“The health and safety of our residents and our guests will always be our top priority,” stated the Hon. Charles “Max” Fernandez, Minister of Tourism and 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. The travel safety protocols have been developed under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, with the full support and cooperation of our stakeholders,”.

Phase One, the current stage in the relaxation of lockdown measures, dictates that all passengers arriving in Antigua and Barbuda must possess a mask and this should be worn in public areas throughout their visit. Upon arrival, visitors should complete a health declaration form. Thermal screenings and other checks will take place at the point of arrival and passengers may be asked to undergo a rapid antigen test at the airport or at their hotel.

It is imperative that vehicles used to transport visitors to and from the airport are kept clean by the operator and sanitized after each trip and hand sanitizer must be available for passengers. With regard to vehicle capacity, up to four members of a family are allowed in one vehicle while larger commercial passenger transport vehicles are permitted to carry only 50% of the vehicle seating capacity, e.g. 7 passengers in a 15–seater. Public health officers will carry out random checks for compliance and certified vehicles will clearly display a safety approval sticker.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness & The Environment have published regulations that all hotels, resorts, villas and home rentals must adhere to and be certified as compliant prior to welcoming visitors. Restaurants are obliged to carry out enhanced cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, incorporate physical distancing measures and must offer à la carte dining, delivery and takeout services but no buffet-style dining.

Click here to find out more information on global travel restrictions.

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