Antigua and Barbuda has officially reopened to international visitors on June 4th.
The island will welcome its first international flight since the island shut its borders due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez, speaking during a virtual meeting on “Reopening Antigua and Barbuda For Tourism,” on Monday, said that an American Airlines flight from Miami is due to land on June 4, bringing the first set of international passenger flight in 10 weeks.
→ Notice: This news article was written in June, 2020 and contains reopening information that has changed. For all updated entry rules please see our guide: “Antigua and Barbuda Covid-19 Entry Requirements”
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Visitors will be tested on arrival. Passengers who test positive may face mandatory quarantines.
The recommended quarantine period for COVID-19 is 14 days. However, if you test negative for COVID-19 using a test approved by the MOHWE, you may be released from quarantine.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness of Antigua and Barbuda advise that all arrivals will be monitored for coronavirus for up to 14 days and that ultimately it is the decision of the Quarantine Authority on who must self-isolate or quarantine on arrival.
Important Updates: July 9
Additional news has been released since this blog was published. Here is the most up to date info about visiting Antigua and Barbuda, with the original article continuing below
Do I need to bring a test? Or is testing being done upon arrival?
- A negative PCR covid test is required in order to enter Antigua and Barbuda. The test needs to be taken no longer than 7 days from depature.
- Testing will be done upon arrival to all incoming passengers. The test will take 15 minutes to administer and could take 24-96 hours for results. Travelers must limit movement while they await test results.
Any rules for visiting Antigua and Barbuda?
- Masks are mandatory in all public spaces.
- Social distancing is in full effect
- Temperature checks will also be done upon arrival
- Visitors must complete a health declaration form upon arrival
- Important: Before you go – visitors must fill out this Passenger Registration Form at least 72 hours before boarding their flight
What Hotels Are Open in Antigua and Barbuda?
Currently open and health certified:
- Admirals Inn – Gunpowder Suites
- Antigua Village
- Coco Bay Resort
- Cocos Hotel
- Heritage Hotel
- Hodges Bay Resort
- Nonsuch Bay Resort
- Tamarind Hills
- Hammock Cove
- Sandals Grande Antigua
- Siboney Beach Club
- The Villas at Sunset Lane
Future opening dates:
- Pineapple Beach Club – July 10
- The Great House – August 1
- Carlisle Bay Resort – October 10
- St. James’s Club – October 14
- Blue Waters Resort – October
- Galley Bay Resort & Spa – October
- The Verandah Resort & Spa – November 1
- Barbuda Belle – November
- The Inn at English Harbour – November
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He said it will mark the start of a slow, phased recovery for the sector and is set to be followed by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) in mid-June and British Airways in July.
Fernandez said that the island would be seeking to ensure international confidence in the country’s ability to keep people safe and that staving off a second wave of infections will prove crucial.
“Everything will be in place to ensure we don’t get a lot of negative press … and beaten up on social media with people questioning whether we really are ready,” Fernandez said, noting that tourism officials had been hard at work for weeks so they can “hit the ground running”.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin James, in confirming the American Airline flight, told the meeting that “American Airlines, first airline indicating that they will be coming back on the fourth of June, that will be a daily flight from Miami.
“AA has indicated that they do not have schedules yet for New York and Charlotte, those will most likely be later in July. And as New York is still a hot spot for COVID -19 cases, it would be one of the last cities that we would actually open up,” he said.
“Other US airlines, for example Delta and JetBlue, have given us no confirmation but they will most likely take their cue from AA,” James said.
Fernandez said health officials were confident that rapid virus tests conducted overseas will have a 90 per cent accuracy rate by the end of this month.
“We are also looking at removing immigration booths when leaving Antigua and Barbuda so we have less interaction and less gatherings of people. The idea is to get people in and out very quickly,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez told the meeting that all hotel staff will be tested for the coronavirus before going back to work. Uniforms will be laundered and collected on site and staff will be required to change into them on the premises before beginning a shift.
“When they finish, they will take off their uniform, leave it to be laundered, put back on their own clothes and go their merry way home,” he added.
Tour guides will also have to be tested for the virus before resuming duties.
“Even though we can never be 100 per cent, the idea is to be as rigid as possible to prevent any kind of spread.
“We have been fairly fortunate in the English-speaking Caribbean to have seen a low density spread…. We believe there is opportunity for us, even though we won’t be up to 100 percent and things will be slow, to benefit this year from a robust restart to the sector.
“It is definitely looking promising in that there is still a lot of interest among people wanting to come to the Caribbean,” Fernandez said.
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