Antigua and Barbuda creates regional travel bubble for Caribbean travelers

Ama Nunoo Jul 16, 2020 at 12:00pm

July 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm | News

Ama Nunoo

Ama Nunoo | Staff Writer

July 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm | News

Photo: Asberth News Network

The Caribbean is the travel destination for most people and one island, Antigua and Barbuda seeks to establish a travel bubble with other Caribbean countries. This decision was taken at the recent Cabinet meeting to give entry clearance to the selected countries without them having to necessarily take COVID-19 tests or present certification upon arrival.

Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Jamaica are the countries included in the bubble and they are also members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

However, the Cabinet made it clear that reciprocity is key and the number of infections in the above-mentioned countries is significantly low and only two of these countries have opened their borders after they were closed due to COVID-19.

Nonetheless, citizens from these CARICOM countries will undergo non-invasive temperature tests. All other citizens outside these CARICOM countries who have travel plans to Antigua after July 7 must have taken the COVID-19 test no more than 7 days old prior to their travel and present a certificate showing their results were negative.

Information Minister Melford Nicholas said although the Cabinet agreed to establish the bubble, The Ministry of Health is mandated to enforce all safety protocols needed to protect citizens from the novel coronavirus.

“Even though the cabinet has made a determination at this high level we are still going to submit this policy for the consideration of the medical and health professionals such that they can determine the further protocols that would need to be applied to ensure that persons who are travelling to Antigua from these locations would not necessarily be subjected to all of the rigors, but the protocols are to be determined by the Ministry of Health,,” he said.

According to guidelines issued by Port Health, passengers who arrive by sea will be quarantined. There is a mandatory wearing of facial masks in all public spaces in Antigua and Barbuda and all other social distancing protocols must be observed.

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

They will be required to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 quarantine for a period of 14 days, according to the instructions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines. Additionally, all travelers will be tested for the virus on arrival or at the hotel as required by the Health Authorities. Passengers exhibiting symptoms will be immediately isolated.

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