F.A.Q for travelers to Antigua and Barbuda
Last updated July 27, 2020
Summary of travel for guests coming on vacation
As of July 2, 2020 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda updated its travel advisory. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven (7) days of their flight. This includes transiting passengers. Children under 12 years of age are not required to present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative Test to enter the Country. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. All travellers are also subject to assessment by Port Health Authorities for signs and symptoms through a series of checks and the completion of a health declaration form on arrival.
All arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to 14 days in accordance with the directions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines. Visitors may be required to undergo further testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at the hotel or place of lodging as determined by the Health Authorities.
The responses within this page are provided based on the current knowledge of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority as provided by the Ministry of Health Wellness and The Environment (MOHWE) and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority aims to provide travellers with the most accurate information and will provide additional updates should information change.
Antigua and Barbuda Latest Government Travel Advisory July 4, 2020
ST.JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (July 4, 2020) – The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has updated its travel advisory effective 09 July 2020 at 11:59 PM Antigua and Barbuda time (AST) to ensure the continued safety of travelers and residents. The V.C. Bird International Airport is opened for international and regional air traffic. The Antigua Port Authority is opened to Cargo Vessels, Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services which are required to follow all protocols issued by Port Health.
Can I travel to Antigua and Barbuda?
Yes, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda opened it borders in a phased approach beginning June 1st 2020, when the V.C. Bird International Airport began accepting commercial international flights, and the St. John’s Harbour – Nevis Street Pier began the process of clearing yachts. A combination of screening, testing, monitoring and other protective measures are in place, and are designed to protect and safeguard the health of both residents and visitors to Antigua and Barbuda.
Do I have to have insurance cover to visit?
The purchase of medical insurance is at the passenger’s discretion.
Will I need to have taken a Covid-19 test before travel?
Yes. As of July 2, 2020 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda updated its travel advisory effective 09 July, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven (7) days of their flight (children under 12 years of age are not required to have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR test result). This includes transiting passengers. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health Authorities.
What are the protocols in place related to travel to Antigua and Barbuda?
The State will be working on a combination of screening, testing, monitoring and other measures to mitigate the risk of importing any new cases of COVID-19 into the country. Additionally, measures will be implemented for the quick detection of any imported cases. This strategy is intended to protect and safeguard the health of both residents of and visitors to Antigua and Barbuda.
During this period several protocols will be implemented as follows:
1. All arriving passengers by air must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) taken within seven (7) days of their flight. (This includes transiting passengers). Children under 12 years of age are not required to have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR test result.
2. Passengers arriving by sea (private yachts/Ferry Services) are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health.
3. All arriving passengers must wear a face mask on disembarkation and in all public areas. Additionally, the wearing of face mask in public spaces is mandatory throughout Antigua and Barbuda and social/physical distancing protocols must be adhered to.
4. All arriving passengers or the head of a family must complete a Health Declaration Form and will be subjected to screening and temperature checks by Port Health Authorities upon arrival in Antigua and Barbuda.
5. All arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to 14 days in accordance with the directions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines. Visitors may be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at the hotel or place of lodging as determined by the Health Authorities.
6. Arriving passengers with symptoms of COVID 19 may be isolated as determined by the Health Authorities.
7. Transiting passengers/Crew members who require an overnight stay will be required to proceed to a hotel or government designated facility to await departure.
8. All Marine Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services will enter ONLY at the Nevis Street Pier.
Military Vessels/Aircraft and other Watercraft transporting food, medical supplies, humanitarian and emergency supplies will be required to follow the Quarantine Guidelines established by the Quarantine Authority as well as issued by Port Health and must give prior notification before arrival. These restrictions for maritime traffic, and the consequential Antigua Port Authority guidelines, issued during the State of Emergency, shall not restrict vessels engaged in innocent passage and/or transit passage, within the territorial seas and/or archipelagic waters of Antigua and Barbuda, under the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
What forms do I need to complete?
A Traveller Accommodation form should be completed, pre-travel. This form is available here.
All arriving passengers or the head of a family will need to complete a health declaration form issued on your flight, to be shared with Port Health Authorities.
Travellers may also be required to sign the Quarantine Directions Form on arrival.
Failure to comply with any order, guideline or direction of the Quarantine Authority commits an offence and can be fined EC$10,000 or imprisonment for 6 months in prison, or both. Details of the Quarantine Act can be viewed here
Will I need to Quarantine?
The following persons are subject to quarantine in Antigua and Barbuda
- Contacts of laboratory confirmed cases of Covid-19
- Contacts of suspected cases of Covid-19
- Persons travelling to Antigua and Barbuda from countries where there are outbreaks of Covid-19
How long is the Quarantine period?
The recommended quarantine period for Covid-19 is fourteen (14) days. However, this may change in the following circumstances
- If you test negative for Covid-19 using a test approved by the MOHWE, you may be released from quarantine
- If you test positive for Covid-19, using a test approved by the MOHWE you will be moved to isolation.
If I need to quarantine, where will quarantine take place?
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and The Environment (Quarantine Authority) shall determine whether a person arriving into Antigua and Barbuda shall be quarantined at a private home, at a hotel, yacht or sea vessel, dormitory facility or at a designated government facility that can allow persons to be safely separated from others and monitored for symptoms of Covid-19.
What does monitoring entail for persons staying at a hotel, resort, villa, guesthouse etc.?
Persons will have to self-monitor for the development of a fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as a cough and shortness of breath. If they develop these symptoms, they should seek medical attention through the nurse or doctor associated with the property.
As a returning national, will I need to take a test before travel?
Yes. As of July 2, 2020 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda updated its travel advisory effective 09 July, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven (7) days of their flight. This includes transiting passengers. Children under 12 years of age are not required to have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR test result. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. On arrival, all passengers will be monitored for Covid-19 in accordance with guidelines of the Quarantine Authority and as determined by the Authorities, undergo further coronavirus testing on arrival.
As a returning national, if I am unable to quarantine at home, is there a quarantine facility?
A Government-designated bio-space or hotel bio-secure space is available for returning nationals needing to quarantine away from their intended place of stay. The decision that quarantine must take place at the Quarantine facility is made by Health officials and is done on a case by case basis.
There is no fee being charged for quarantining at the facility.
How do Health Officials decide who needs further testing on arrival?
A series of assessments will be undertaken by the Quarantine Authority or an authorized health officer, including interviews based on the completed Health Declaration Form, temperature checks and the intended place of stay to determine if persons should be tested on arrival.
Is there a cost for the test if I am asked to do one on arrival?
There is a cost of US$100 for the test. The cost is payable to the Quarantine Authority.
How quickly are the results returned if I am tested on arrival?
The average turnaround time for results is 48 hours. Note that results can take up to 96 hours.
Where will I be asked to wait prior to and after testing when awaiting results?
Depending on the health screening results, you may be asked to await your test results at the port of entry, or you may be notified of the results the following day at place of stay. The Ministry of Health has indicated that results will be issued in approximately 48 hours, but can take as long as 96 hours.
If the test is given at the airport, and I test positive, what happens?
Arriving passengers who test positive for Covid-19 will be isolated as determined by the Ministry of Health Officials.
If I test positive on arrival, can I elect to go home on the first available flight?
Once the airlines are aware that the passenger is suffering from any infectious disease, they cannot accept you on flights.
If I test negative what happens?
All arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to 14 days in accordance with the directions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines. If you are tested on arrival and are awaiting results you do need to adhere to the instructions of the Quarantine Authority.
Is there a cost involved in staying at the Infectious Disease Center?
No policy decision has been made at this time to charge for this stay.
How do I get from the airport to my place of stay?
All arriving passengers are required to use the authorized certified ground transportation available outside of the V.C. Bird International Airport Arrivals Terminal. Family and friends will not be allowed to pick-up guests. This measure is in place to allow for effective contact tracing should it be required.
How have taxi operations at the ports of entry changed?
- Taxi drivers will sanitize their hands and vehicles after handling and transporting each set of baggage.
- There will be limited contact between driver and passengers, and there will be stickers or markings on the floor of larger vehicles to guide and reinforce the message of physical distancing.
- Commercial passenger transport vehicles are permitted to carry only 50% of the vehicle seating capacity. For example, a 15-seater vehicle will only be allowed to transport no more than 6 passengers. There is consideration for dedicated transport for senior citizens.
- All commercial vehicles used for passenger transport must be kept clean, must be sanitized after each trip, and must be equipped with hand sanitizer. They will be subject to random inspections by Public Health Officers.
- Transportation operators must wash or sanitize hands after handling money and should have routine daily temperature checks.
Which Certified accommodations are currently open for guests?
Certified accommodation currently open include: Admirals Inn – Gunpowder Suites, Antigua Village, Siboney Beach Club, Buccaneer Beach Club, Hammock Cove Resort, Heritage Hotel, Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, The Catamaran Hotel, The Moxy Hotel and Tamarind Hills Villas. A number of villas are also open. You will find a comprehensive listing here.
All hotels and villas that are open, have undergone inspection by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism and have all been certified to re-open.
Do you have re-opening dates of other hotels?
Visitors can view the Hotel Reopening Dates which provides information on other hotel re-openings.
What can I expect to see at certified accommodations?
All Certified accommodations will be adhering to standards required by the Central Board of Health and the Ministry of Tourism. No activities deemed high-risk will be permitted, and there will be additional focus on sanitization, and the utilization of contactless technology.
Temperature checks may be given upon arrival.
The Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association has produced Health and Safety Guidelines for hotels, which can be viewed here.
Will I be required to wear a mask while at certified accommodations?
Guests are required to wear a face covering when traversing the property where they are likely to be in close proximity to staff and other guests. For beach activities where physical distancing requirements are met, the wearing of a face covering would not be required.
Staff will be wearing resort-approved face coverings while working.
Do I need to wear a mask on the beach in Antigua and Barbuda?
For beach activities where physical distancing requirements are met, the wearing of a face covering would not be required.
If I misplace my mask, where will I be able to purchase masks?
Masks are available for purchase throughout Antigua and Barbuda. Face masks will also be available within hotel properties.
Can yachts visit Antigua and Barbuda?
The Antigua Port Authority is opened to cargo vessels, pleasure craft and ferry services which are required to follow all health guidelines issued by Port Health. Boaters planning to come to Antigua must alert the authorities ahead of time by using the eseaclear.com pre-notification system.
ALL yachts must go through the yacht clearance process at the St. John’s Harbour, Nevis Street Pier. This includes yachties wishing to anchor in English Harbour. Yachters are to anchor between fort James and St John’s Harbour with their Lima flag flying until they are invited to start the clearance process by the Coast Guard or the Port Authority. Yacht Captains will be required to fill out a health declaration form upon arrival, and other pre-entry requirements determined by health officials.
Will passengers arriving by sea be required to take the test?
Passengers arriving by SEA (private yacht/ferry services) are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health.
Will I be able to go to the beach?
Yes, but persons must practice social and physical distancing.
Beaches in Antigua and Barbuda are open on weekdays and weekends between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the current curfew period, which ends on July 31.
Will I be able to rent a car on arrival?
You will not be able to rent a car on arrival at the airport as you will need to take the approved transportation. Once at your place of lodging, arrangements can be made for car hire, dependent on coronavirus testing results.
If I am a visitor to Antigua, can I travel to Barbuda for an excursion?
Yes, but not within 14 days of arrival.
Will land-based and water-based excursions be open?
These will be open in a phased manner after the appropriate inspection, training and certification by the Ministry of Health and Tourism Officials. Travellers are advised that tour and excursion outings should be limited during this phase.
Are restaurants open?
Restaurants are open for take-away and delivery service, and some restaurants have now been certified to reopen for dine-in service. Travellers are advised against dining-in at restaurants during this phase.
Will tourists be allowed to leave the hotel property to complete the legal process for marriage at the Court House?
Yes, provided established protocols are adhered to.
Is there a curfew in place?
A curfew is in effect in Antigua and Barbuda until July 31, 2020. During this period, movement is allowed between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. During the curfew hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., only essential services will be allowed to operate within public spaces.
Will I be required to wear a mask?
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s Public Health Act Dangerous Infections Disease Regulations 2020, requires all residents and visitors, when out in public spaces outside of their homes including to gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, doctors’ offices, bakeries and all other essential services, to wear masks that cover their nostrils and their mouths.
A person who fails to comply with these special measures commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00 XCD) or to imprisonment for six (6) months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Masks are not mandatory while exercising or driving alone within vehicles.
What should I do if I begin to display Covid-19 symptoms?
Should you feel as if you are showing signs of Covid-19, please contact the Covid-19 Hotline at (268) 462-6843 immediately, where a member of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s medical team will take your call. Please follow their instructions after the call. If you are at a hotel, please inform a member of your hotel team, who will advise you on your next steps.
If I am staying for less than the 14-day quarantine period (13 days or less) am I able to leave to travel to the airport?
Yes, you will be able to leave if you are staying for less than the quarantine period.
What are the protocols for departing passengers leaving Antigua and Barbuda, and has the check-in time changed?
A limited number of doors will be used for exit from and entry into the terminal and these will be manned by airport personnel to ensure adherence to protocols.
Only travellers and employees will be allowed entry into the terminal. For the time being, please say your farewells at home.
Mask wearing policy will be strictly enforced.
Travelers are being encouraged to make use of online check in.
Sneeze guards have been installed at varying points of contact with travellers.
Airlines have adopted their own set of protocols and travellers are being encouraged to adhere to their procedures
When is it planned for cruises to arrive and will the same procedures for assessment and testing be in place?
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has not provided details of cruise line schedules nor protocols at this time.