Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory in the Eastern Caribbean, has approved a Covid-19 exit strategy which comprises a series of new travel protocols.
Some of these protocols will come into effect immediately, while others will be introduced over the next few months finishing in October 2021.
Anguilla has some of the lowest Covid-19 infection rates in the world with less than 25 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
Anguilla Reopened for Tourism in August
Anguilla reopened for tourism in August, but travelers could only visit if they were granted the ‘travel authorization ticket’ by applying on the official tourism website, with a requirement to take several Covid-19 tests and quarantine on arrival.
These strict travel protocols have had devastating effects on the economy, which is largely dependent on tourism.
The new ‘Covid-19 exit strategy’ is designed to safely transition Anguilla from this extended period of economic contraction towards generating the business activity needed to revitalize the economy.
Parliamentary Secretary Quincia Gumbs-Marie said during the press conference:
“This is exciting. Today marks the beginning of our phased reopening. We can now start to jump-start our economy and get back to a sense of normalcy. It would not have been possible without the persons who have already participated in the ongoing vaccination programme to help us get to this point.”
New Travel Protocols For Anguilla
Quarantine Reduced for Vaccinated Travelers Immediatly
For travelers who are fully vaccinated, with the final dose administered at least 21 days prior to arrival, the quarantine will be reduced from 14 days to 7 days as of April 12th.
Travelers will still be required to submit a negative Covid-19 test 3-5 days prior to their arrival, be tested on arrival, and at the end of the quarantine period.
Returning residents staying in private homes and vaccinated travelers staying under 90 days in a hotel or villa will have to pay an entry application fee of 300 USD per individual. Unvaccinated returning residents staying in private homes will have to pay a fee of 600 USD per individual.
Groups with a mix of unvaccinated and vaccinated persons will all have to quarantine for a 10-day period, utilizing only approved short stay services.
Additionally, as of May 1, all visitors traveling in groups of more than 10 must be fully vaccinated to enter, attend, or conduct mass gatherings, including weddings and conferences. Visitors can use spa, gym, and cosmetology services if both the guest and staff are fully vaccinated.
Fee and Quarantine Requirements Removed in July
From July 1, the fee and quarantine requirement will be removed for visitors who are fully vaccinated at least 21 days before arrival. Travelers will need a pre-test as before but no test on arrival.
Groups with a mix of individuals who are not eligible for the vaccine will not need to quarantine, but they will need to submit a negative PCR test 3-5 days ahead of arrival and may be tested on arrival/during their stay.
Unvaccinated returning residents will be required to produce a negative Covid-19 test 3-5 days prior to arrival, have a test on arrival, and quarantine for 10 days on arrival in approved accommodation. From September 1st, the quarantine for unvaccinated travelers will be reduced to 7 days as part of phase 2.
It is estimated that 65% – 70% of Anguilla’s resident population will have be fully vaccinated by the end of June 2021, enabling the island to achieve herd immunity. All frontline hospitality workers, along with port and transportation staff are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Travel authorization application removed October 1st
October 2021 will mark the final phase of the entry protocols, including removing the travel authorization application for entry.
Pre-entry proof of negative test requirements and follow-up testing will cease. Only visitors who are fully vaccinated at least three weeks prior to travel will be allowed entry, and transport operators will be responsible for ensuring that travelers have the necessary documentation for entry. All Phase 2 provisions for unvaccinated residents remain in place.
The Hon. Minister of Tourism, Mr. Haydn Hughes, has said:
“We worked diligently with the Ministry of Health to develop our protocols, which secured Anguilla’s position as the leading destination in the successful management and control of the pandemic,”
“We have continued this successful collaboration in designing our Exit Strategy, which will allow us to rebuild our industry and return to full employment as welcome our visitors back to Anguilla.”
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com