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Latest Travel Advisory

F.A.Q for travelers to Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda’s Latest Travel Advisory 2020

Summary of travel protocols for guests coming on vacation

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has updated its travel advisory. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, (test for SARS-CoV-2) 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 State continues to carry out 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 have been implemented for the quick detection of any imported cases. This strategy is intended to protect and safeguard the health of both residents and visitors to Antigua and Barbuda.

Nationals and residents of Antigua and Barbuda are strongly advised to restrict their travel to countries with significant escalations in the number of persons recently testing positive for COVID-19 to that for essential purposes only.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has provided parameters for the establishment of a regional Travel Bubble among the OECS countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, Anguilla and British Virgin Islands, together with Barbados. Please review protocol details of Travel Bubble within this page.

 

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.

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. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, (test for SARS-CoV-2) 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.

Are COVID-19 At Home PCR kit test results acceptable?

No. To be accepted, tests must be administered by a medical professional.

What are the protocols in place related to travel to Antigua and Barbuda?

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has updated its travel advisory effective immediately to ensure the continued safety of travelers and residents. The V.C. Bird International Airport is open for international and regional air traffic. The Antigua Port Authority is open to Cargo Vessels, Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services which are required to follow all protocols issued by Port Health. 

The State continues to carry out 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 have been implemented for the quick detection of any imported cases. This strategy is intended to protect and safeguard the health of both residents and visitors to Antigua and Barbuda. 

Nationals and residents of Antigua and Barbuda are strongly advised to restrict their travel to countries with significant escalations in the number of persons recently testing positive for COVID-19 to that for essential purposes only. 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has provided parameters for the establishment of a regional Travel Bubble among the OECS countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, Anguilla and British Virgin Islands, together with Barbados. This is designed to facilitate intra-regional travel of nationals, movement of essential workers, and inter-regional travel of visitors to the region while ensuring that the necessary health protocols are followed. 

The protocols implemented are as follows: 

  1. Arriving passengers by air must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test for SARS-CoV-2 taken within seven (7) days of their flight. (This includes transiting passengers)
  2. Children below the age of 12 years, entering Antigua, DO NOT REQUIRE a COVID -19 RT-PCR test.
  3. Persons traveling to Antigua and Barbuda from countries within the established Travel Bubble must have resided there for no less than fourteen (14) consecutive days prior to travel. They are required to have a negative COVID 19 RT-PCR test result taken within seven (7) days of their flight. They will undergo mandatory health screening upon arrival but will not be subject to quarantine. All other arriving passengers are subject to quarantine as determined by the Quarantine Authority.
  4. Passengers arriving for medical treatment/procedures must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR taken within seven (7) days of their flight. They also must comply with Ministry of Health Guidelines for the Transfer of Patients into Antigua and Barbuda, to include:
  • a)  A letter of Request for Medical Transfer from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the originating country to the CMO of Antigua and Barbuda who is also the Quarantine Authority.
  • b)  A medical report detailing patient’s condition, treatment required and the urgency of the situation.
  • c)  A Letter of Acceptance from the receiving institution stating that the patient has been accepted for care, together with the name of the physician who will be managing the patient.
  • d)  The intended address in Antigua and Barbuda, together with the name and telephone number of a contact person if available. 
  1. Passengers arriving by sea (private yachts/Ferry Services) are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health except those arriving from countries within the bubble.
  2. 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.
  3. All arriving passengers 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.
  4. Persons travelling from countries within the Travel Bubble will be exempt from quarantine. However, all other arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID- 19 for periods of up to fourteen (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.

  9. Arriving passengers with symptoms of COVID 19 may be isolated as determined by the Health Authorities. 

 10. Transiting passengers/Crew members who require an overnight stay will be required to proceed to a hotel or government designated facility to await departure. 

 11. 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). 

This Travel Advisory replaces ALL previous Travel Advisories issued by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. 

 

What forms do I need to complete?

Presently, 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.

Please note completing a traveller/passenger accommodation form is no longer required ahead of arrival. 

 

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 on arrival. 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.

CRUISES

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.

 

YACHTING

What are the procedures that visiting yachts should adhere to?

The Ministry of Tourism has provided protocols for visiting yachts.  These can be viewed in the table above, the diagram below or at the link here.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Latest Government Protocol Travel Advisory 2020

ST.JOHN’S, ANTIGUA – The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has updated its travel advisory protocol 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.

Continue Reading (186KB MS Word doc)

Ministry of Tourism & Investment – Tourism Flexibility Notice

For the purpose of COVID-19 management, currently, tourists are defined as persons who come to the country to stay at certified accommodations, regardless of the period of stay.

Whereas other visitors and returning nationals are required to sign a quarantine form, thereby committing to remain on the property indicated, the Health Authorities agree on a certain controlled flexibility when it comes to tourists.

The consideration is that tourists usually come for a very limited number of days, during which they wish to enjoy the advertised offerings of the destination, even with some understandable limitations, given the COVID-19 reality.

With that in mind, apart from certifying hotels and other accommodations, the Health and Tourism Authorities have certified a number of leisure activities, to ensure that visitors experience them in a safe manner.

Every certified establishment or individual offering accommodation, services and/or activities, must be in possession of a valid certificate, indicating COVID-19 protocol training. They are expected at all times to demonstrate that they are enforcing the relevant protocols, and will be monitored for that reason.

Certified activities include: destination weddings, dining out, land and sea excursions and certain other outdoor activities.

Compliance with the nationally established COVID-19 protocols is a legal requirement, and is therefore expected of all visitors.

The FULL List of Certified Accommodations in Antigua and Barbuda is available here.  You will also find a listing of some of the certified excursions and restaurants.

Download Notice (86KB MS Word doc)

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?

All guests travelling to Antigua are required to stay at a certified accommodation property. If on arrival a guest cannot provide proof of stay at a certified property, guest will be required to make alternate arrangements at an approved property. If not, guest will be required to quarantine at a government facility. You will find a comprehensive listing of certified accommodations HERE.

All certified accommodations listed have undergone inspection by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism.

Do you have re-opening dates of hotels?

Visitors can view the link: Hotel Reopening Dates which provides hotel re-opening dates of hotels within the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association.

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.

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 December 31 2020.

Will I be able to rent a car?

Certified transportation should be taken from the airport to your place of lodging.  Once at your place of lodging, arrangements can be made for car rentals with certified providers.

Can I travel to Barbuda?

Yes, you  are able to travel to Barbuda, and will be asked to follow protocols as provided by health officials.

Can I travel to Barbuda for an excursion?

Yes, you  are able to travel to Barbuda as an excursion, subject to the protocols and guidelines

 

Are land-based and water-based excursions open?

Yes, most excursions have re-opened after the appropriate inspection, training and certification by the Ministry of Health and Tourism Officials. Some of the certified excursions are listed under Antigua and Barbuda is Open.

Are restaurants open?

Yes, restaurants are open for take-away and delivery service, and most have also been certified to reopen for dine-in service.

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 December 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.

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

If I need to have a PCR test done before I depart Antigua and Barbuda where can I have this done and what is the cost?

Testing is available at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre at a cost. Information on testing is available here. For Inquiries on cost and appointments at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre: Call 484-2713/88 or send an email to COVIDresults@msjmc.org

DESTINATION WEDDINGS

I plan to get married in Antigua and Barbuda; how many guests am I allowed to have at my wedding?

The maximum number of guests allowed for destination weddings in Antigua and Barbuda is 25 persons.

What are the protocols surrounding weddings and events outside of hotels? (Beaches, Villas, Restaurants, etc)

Although these events are hosted at beaches, villas and specialty restaurants, the protocols established regarding physical (social) distancing, handwashing, wearing of masks etc. as stipulated by the Central Board of Health must be adhered to.

 

Will guest numbers be based on venue size – as has been the case for churches and funerals on island?

Yes. Similar to churches, funerals and indoor dining at restaurants, the number of guests allowed is based on the venue size. See the Central Board of Health for more information.

 

What are expected of the guests once at an event? Are guests expected to wear masks as well as adhering to the social distancing protocols?

Yes, guests are expected to wear masks and adhere to the social distancing protocols.

 

What are the protocols for a three to seven-day visit and couple wishing to have the wedding off the property they are staying at?

All visitors arriving on island are subject to the Quarantine Authority’s protocols and guidelines.

What is the 25-guest count inclusive of? Does it include the staff required to execute the event?

The guest count does not involve event staff.