Antigua - What you need to know prior too travel

Details of traveling to Antigua requirements.


If you are wanting to come to Antigua and Barbuda for the Summer Holidays or looking to buy property then please read the below before booking.  We have the detailed requirements to travel to Antigua and Barbuda from the Tourism Authority.


Once you get to Antigua you will be able to explore the fantastic beaches, enjoy our gourmet restaurants and shop till you drop at the Duty Free Heritage key St Johns.  Antigua and Barbuda is very much open for business and we can’t wait for you to enjoy your holiday to the maximum. 

Please keep up to date by visiting https://visitantiguabarbuda.com

 

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.

 

Which airlines are currently flying to Antigua and Barbuda?

American Airlines began flights daily to Antigua from Miami on June 4, 2020. JetBlue, Delta, Caribbean Airlines and interCaribbean have also announced plans to resume commercial scheduled flights in July.

Please confirm number of deaths and infections relating to Covid-19, and those recovered to date? 

As of July 6th, 2020, Antigua and Barbuda has recorded seventy (70) cases of coronavirus, three (3) deaths and twenty (23) persons have recovered.

 

My country was previously on a list of countries that could not fly to Antigua and Barbuda. Can I now fly to Antigua and Barbuda?

Yes, all travel advisories have been lifted from all countries.

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. As of July 2, 2020 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda updated its travel advisory effective 09 July, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven (7) days of their flight. This includes transiting passengers. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health Authorities.

What safety measures are in place upon arrival? 

A combination of screening, testing for travellers with above-normal temperatures, monitoring and other protective measures will be in place. This strategy is intended to protect and safeguard the health of both residents and guests to Antigua and Barbuda.

Some of these safety measures include:

  • The wearing of masks – It is mandatory to wear a mask while in public spaces in Antigua and Barbuda, and as such, all arriving visitors and residents are required to wear masks.  Please ensure you have yours, you will need it for disembarking the aircraft on arrival into Antigua and Barbuda.

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.

  • Completion of the Passenger Registration Form
  • Completion of a Health Declaration Form by all arriving passengers
  • Health Screenings to determine risk posed by that person for transmission of COVID-19
  • Temperature Checks through thermal cameras
  • Nasal swab testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at hotel or at place of lodging as determined by the Health Authorities
  • All arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to 14 days in accordance with directions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines. Details of the Quarantine Act can be viewed here
  • Presence of visible handwashing and sanitization stations
  • Adhering to social distancing requirements
  • Sanitization of luggage by taxi drivers
  • Limitations on persons travelling within taxis. Taxi operators have also received training from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism in passenger safety and minimizing occupational risks.

What are the entry requirements for Antigua and Barbuda related to COVID-19?

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE), is taking measures to reduce the risk of re-introduction of Covid-19 in Antigua and Barbuda and will also be monitoring persons for signs of Covid-19 as they arrive into and while they are in Antigua and Barbuda.

All arriving passengers by AIR are required to present a negative a covid-19 RT-PCR test result from a test taken within 7 days of their flight to Antigua and Barbuda. Passengers arriving by SEA (private yacht/ferry services) are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. On arrival into Antigua and Barbuda passengers may also undergo a series of assessments and some may also be subject to a rapid and/or PCR test(s) on arrival as determined by the Health Authorities.

All arriving passengers will need to complete a health declaration form to be shared with Port Health Authorities on arrival.

A Traveller Accommodation form should also be completed. This form is available here.

All travellers will also be required to sign the Quarantine Directions Form.

Failure to comply with any order, guideline or direction of the Quarantine Authority commits an offence and can be fined EC$10,000 or imprisonment for 6 months in prison, or both. Details of the Quarantine Act can be viewed here

Will I need to Quarantine?

The following persons are subject to quarantine in Antigua and Barbuda

  • Contacts of laboratory confirmed cases of Covid-19
  • Contacts of suspected cases of Covid-19
  • Persons travelling to Antigua and Barbuda from countries where there are outbreaks of Covid-19

How long is the Quarantine period?

The recommended quarantine period for Covid-19 is fourteen (14) days. However, this may change in the following circumstances

  • If you test negative for Covid-19 using a test approved by the MOHWE, you may be released from quarantine
  • If you test positive for Covid-19, using a test approved by the MOHWE you will be moved to isolation.

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.

If I need to quarantine, where will quarantine take place?

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and The Environment (Quarantine Authority) shall determine whether a person arriving into Antigua and Barbuda shall be quarantined at a private home, at a hotel, yacht or sea vessel, dormitory facility or at a designated government facility that can allow persons to be safely separated from others and monitored for symptoms of Covid-19.

As a returning national, if I am unable to quarantine at home, is there a quarantine facility?

A Government-designated bio-space or hotel bio-secure space is available for returning nationals needing to quarantine away from their intended place of stay.  The decision that quarantine must take place at the Quarantine facility is made by Health officials and is done on a case by case basis.

There is no fee being charged for quarantining at the facility.

If I am in-transit, will I need to take the test before travel?

As of July 2, 2020 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda updated its travel advisory effective 09 July, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven (7) days of their flight. This includes transiting passengers. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. Transiting passengers/crew members who require an overnight stay will be required to proceed to a hotel or government designated facility to await departure.

How do Health Officials decide who needs to be tested 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.

What type of testing will be conducted on arrival? 

Ministry of Health Officials will conduct a Sophia2 rapid and/or PCR test(s) on arrival, which involves nasal swabbing.

Will children (under 18 years old) also be tested?

Testing of children (under 18 years old) will not be routinely done. They will be tested only if showing signs or symptoms but with parental consent and this must be managed by a paediatrician.

At what point on arrival will testing take place? 

Swabbing will take place at your port of entry, either the V.C. Bird International Airport or the St. John’s Harbour.

How long do these tests take to do and what does it involve?

The nasal swab test takes 15 minutes.

How quickly are the results returned? How are health officials informing travellers of the results? 

The average turnaround time for results is 48 hours. Note that results can take up to 96 hours. All travellers are informed of test results either via email or face to face through the Medical Doctor at the hotel.

Is there a cost for the test? 

There is a cost of US$100 for the test. The cost is payable to the Quarantine Authority.

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.

As a returning national, will I need to take a test before travel?

Yes. As of July 2, 2020 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda updated its travel advisory effective 09 July, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven (7) days of their flight. This includes transiting passengers. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. On arrival, all passengers will be monitored for Covid-19 in accordance with guidelines of the Quarantine Authority and as determined by the Authorities, undergo further coronavirus testing on arrival.

Will I need to quarantine, while I await results of tests done on arrival?

Yes

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.

If I test negative what happens?

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.  If you are tested on arrival and are awaiting results you do need to adhere to the instructions of the Quarantine Authority.

 

Is there a cost involved in staying at the Infectious Disease Center?

No policy decision has been made at this time to charge for this stay.

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?

Certified accommodation currently open include:  Admirals Inn – Gunpowder Suites, Antigua Village, Siboney Beach Club, Buccaneer Beach Club, Hammock Cove Resort, Heritage Hotel, Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, The Catamaran Hotel, The Moxy Hotel and Tamarind Hills Villas. A number of villas are also open.

All hotels and villas that are open, have undergone inspection by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism and have all been certified to re-open.

 

Do you have re-opening dates of other hotels?

Visitors can view the Hotel Reopening Dates

which provides information on other hotel re-openings.

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.

If I misplace my mask, where will I be able to purchase masks?

Masks are available for purchase throughout Antigua and Barbuda. Face masks will also be available within hotel properties.


Can yachts visit Antigua and Barbuda?

The Antigua Port Authority is opened to cargo vessels, pleasure craft and ferry services which are required to follow all health guidelines issued by Port Health.  Boaters planning to come to Antigua must alert the authorities ahead of time by using the eseaclear.com pre-notification system.

ALL yachts must go through the yacht clearance process at the St. John’s Harbour, Nevis Street Pier. This includes yachties wishing to anchor in English Harbour.  Yachters are to anchor between fort James and St John’s Harbour with their Lima flag flying until they are invited to start the clearance process by the Coast Guard or the Port Authority. Yacht Captains will be required to fill out a health declaration form upon arrival, and other pre-entry requirements determined by health officials.

Will passengers arriving by sea be required to take the test?

Passengers arriving by SEA (private yacht/ferry services) are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health.

Are private jet passengers being treated differently to commercial aircraft passengers?

No. As of July 2, 2020 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda updated its travel advisory effective 09 July, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative covid-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven (7) days of their flight.

Will I be able to go to the beach?

Hotel guests staying at a hotel with a beach, will have access to that beach. All beaches will be accessible once a negative test result has been received.

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.

All beach-users should observe physical distancing guidelines.

 

 

Will I be able to rent a car on arrival?

You will not be able to rent a car on arrival at the airport as you will need to take the approved transportation.  Once at your place of lodging, arrangements can be made for car hire, dependent on coronavirus testing results.

Will land-based and water-based excursions be open?

These will be open in a phased manner after the appropriate inspection, training and certification by the Ministry of Health and Tourism Officials. Travellers are advised that tour and excursion outings should be limited during this phase.

Are restaurants open?

Restaurants are open for take-away and delivery service, and some restaurants have now been certified to reopen for dine-in service. Travellers are advised against dining-in at restaurants during this phase. 

Is there a curfew in place?

A curfew is in effect in Antigua and Barbuda until July 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.

 

If I am staying for less than the 14-day quarantine period (13 days or less) am I able to leave to travel to the airport?

Yes, you will be able to leave if you are staying for less than the quarantine period.

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

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.

 



Antigua - What you need to know prior too travel
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