If you’ve been planning a retreat to the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, your trip is about to become more complicated. In response to surging COVID-19 cases, the government of Antigua and Barbuda just updated its travel requirements.
Beginning October 1, all tourists, as well as returning nationals and residents, need to have received at least one dose of a World Health Organization — or Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment — approved COVID-19 vaccine to enter Antigua and Barbuda. Anyone under the age of 18 is exempt from this requirement.
There are a number of other new requirements, as well. Here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Antigua and Barbuda.
Strict Entry Requirements
Vaccination won’t be the only requirement to enter Antigua and Barbuda.
Regardless of vaccination status, everyone arriving in Antigua and Barbuda must have a negative test result from a COVID-19 RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) test that was conducted 4 or fewer days before their flight. Importantly, children under the age of 5 do not need to have taken the test.
Next, everyone arriving in Antigua and Barbuda must complete a Health Declaration Form, which will be distributed on the plane. Upon landing, all passengers will be subjected to screening and temperature checks conducted by Port Health Authorities. Passengers will also be required to present a copy of their official vaccination record card at that time.
Importantly, passengers who arrive in Antigua and Barbuda and have COVID-19 symptoms may be isolated by the country’s health authority.
For more on the restrictions going into effect on October 1, head to this PDF.
Staying In Antigua And Barbuda
All guests traveling to Antigua and Barbuda on vacation are required to stay at a government-certified accommodation property. All of these certified accommodations will follow standards required by the Central Board of Health and the Ministry of Tourism. What’s more, “no activities deemed high-risk will be permitted, and there will be additional focus on sanitization, and the utilization of contactless technology,” the government explains.
You can find a list of certified tourism accommodations here.
Tourists will also need to keep in mind that a face mask must be worn in public spaces throughout Antigua and Barbuda, and social distancing must be practiced. That means guests at certified accommodations must wear a mask while walking the property when they are likely to be near staff and other guests. A mask is not needed on the beach if social distancing can be practiced.
Also on the topic of beaches, it must be pointed out that beaches can only be used for “therapeutic purposes” between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the beach is only open from 5 a.m. to noon.
All bars in Antigua and Barbuda are currently closed. While restaurants are open, they are only serving take-out and delivery.
Antigua and Barbuda also has a curfew. The current curfew hours are from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
You can find all of the details and more information about visiting Antigua and Barbuda on their official tourism site.
Know Before You Go
According to data from John Hopkins University, almost 38 percent of Antigua and Barbuda’s population is fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
That said, 437 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Antigua and Barbuda the week of September 12, which was a record high for one week. On September 17 alone, 299 new cases were reported, which was a 1-day record high. There have been 888 new cases reported in September 2021, which is a 1-month high record of new cases in Antigua and Barbuda.
As you would expect, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a “Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19” alert for Antigua and Barbuda, cautioning U.S. citizens to “avoid travel to Antigua and Barbuda.” The U.S. State Department correspondingly issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” alert for Antigua and Barbuda.
While you’re thinking about Antigua and Barbuda, be sure to check out all of our Mexico and Caribbean coverage. To stay up-to-date on traveling to Antigua and Barbuda, or anywhere else, be sure to read our travel news coverage.