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HomeBusinessTourism in Crisis due to Latest Travel Advisory from Cabinet

Tourism in Crisis due to Latest Travel Advisory from Cabinet

Several hotels have begun receiving cancellations as confusion abounds the industry with regards to the latest testing requirement via the travel advisory issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a result of  the recent  Cabinet decision.

Airlines have been requesting from the Ministry of Tourism clarity as to which test is required for passengers to enter the country as the travel market is confused.

One hotelier has informed the Antiguan trumpet that this is the first time since operating in Antigua and Barbuda that he may be faced with reducing staffing during the Christmas season

Another hotelier said it’s “pure madness, someone seems not to understand the impact of such a decision on the market and all the gains are been eroded as a result of this poorly thought out Travel Advisory. It appears that the cabinet didn’t seek or consult with industry stakeholders in making this decision”.

Whats worse is regardless of the decision, the Travel Advisory is fraught with errors and conflicting statements that are not able to be undestood by hoteliers, let alone travelers.  The erroneour and conflicting statements on an official travel advisory makes travelers question the government and make them scared or hesitant to travel”. said another hotelier.  Below is the full text of the Controversial Travel Advisory:


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 including random testing of arriving passengers, the issuing of monitoring bracelets 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.

With immediate effect, restrictions to entry into Antigua and Barbuda have been imposed on persons who would have traveled to South Africa, Botswana, Belgium and Hong Kong within the last fourteen (14) days.

Nationals and residents of Antigua and Barbuda are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel at this time.

The protocols implemented are as follows:

  1. Effective 15th December 2021, ALL arriving passengers including returning nationals and residents are required to present verifiable documentation of full vaccination using World Health Organization (WHO) or Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE) approved 2-dose COVID 19 vaccine or a single dose vaccine to be permitted entry into Antigua and Barbuda. Children below the age of eighteen (18) years arriving at a port of entry are exempted from this requirement.

2. Effective 8th December 2021, fully vaccinated arriving passengers must present a RT PCR test negative result of three (3) days or fewer from date of testing, be permitted entry into Antigua and Barbuda. This includes transiting passengers. In keeping with concerns over the potential spread of the new COVID-19 OMICRON variant, the provision allowing for presentation of Rapid Antigen Tests is suspended until further notice. Home PCR tests are not accepted.

3. Unvaccinated minors between the ages of five and eighteen years old must present a negative RT PCR test of four days or fewer from date of testing.

4. Children below the age of five (5) years entering Antigua and Barbuda, DO NOT REQUIRE a COVID -19 RT-PCR test.

5. Fully vaccinated passengers entering Antigua and Barbuda who can present verifiable documentation that they have received both doses of a World Health Organization (WHO) or Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE) approved 2-dose COVID 19 vaccine or one dose of a single dose COVID 19 vaccine and have a COVID-19 RT-PCR/ approved Rapid Antigen negative test result will be allowed to stay at bio safe/certified accommodation/yacht. At least two (2) weeks must have passed since the administration of the FULL vaccine dosage.

6. Fully vaccinated returning nationals and residents who can present verifiable documentation that they have received both doses of a WHO or MOHWE approved 2- dose COVID 19 vaccine or one dose of a single dose COVID 19 vaccine and have a COVID-19 RT-PCR/ approved Rapid Antigen test negative result will not be required to quarantine. At least two (2) weeks must have passed since the administration of the FULL vaccine dosage.

7. Persons quarantined at a government-approved facility for a period of fourteen (14) days will do so for a fee not exceeding EC$82.00 per night.

8. Arriving passengers who are permitted to quarantine at home or instructed to stay at a government quarantine facility may be required to wear a monitoring bracelet according to the Quarantine Authority regulations.

9. Passengers who arrive without COVID 19 test results or with incorrect COVID test results will be charged the cost of administering of the required RT PCR test assay. The fee is US$50.00 for nationals and US$100.00 for non- nationals. Passengers who knowingly present false declarations of COVID-19 negative tests or vaccination on arrival will be fined according to the laws of Antigua and Barbuda.

10. Visitors are required to observe all protocols during their stay and patronize only COVID-19 certified businesses such as restaurants and excursions for the duration of their trip.

11. Passengers granted medical exemption arriving for medical treatment/procedures must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR taken within four (4) 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.

12. The wearing of face masks in public spaces is mandatory throughout Antigua and Barbuda and social/physical distancing protocols must be adhered to. Therefore, all passengers arriving in Antigua and Barbuda must wear a face mask on disembarkation, while on the airport compound and in all public places.

13. All arriving passengers must complete a Health Declaration Form and will be subject to screening and temperature checks by Port Health Authorities upon arrival in Antigua and Barbuda.

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

15. Transiting passengers/Crew memberswho require an overnight stay will be required to proceed to a hotel or government certified facility to await departure.

16. Rapid antigen tests will be permitted for departing passengers in cases where the receiving states permit the use thereof by individuals returning to their countries of origin. Hotels will be required to provide this service to their guests.

17. All Marine Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services entering the waters of Antigua and Barbuda should contact the Antigua Port Authority, using VHF Channel 16, at least six (6) hours prior to arrival. Instructions will be given to guide the crafts to either the Nevis Street Pier or English/Falmouth Harbours, Jolly Harbour, or other holding area.

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 ininnocent 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.


Anthony Liverpool Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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