F.A.Q for travelers to Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda’s Latest Travel Advisory 2021
Summary of travel protocols for guests coming on vacation
All arriving passengers by air must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test for SARS-CoV-2 using a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab taken within seven days of their flight. (This includes transiting passengers). Children below the age of 12 years, entering Antigua, DO NOT REQUIRE a COVID -19 RT-PCR test.
Passengers who knowingly present false declarations of Covid-19 certificates on arrival will be fined according to the laws of Antigua and Barbuda.
Visitors may be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at the hotel or place of lodging as determined by the Health Authorities.
Passengers arriving by sea (private yachts/Ferry Services) are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health.
The wearing of face mask 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.
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.
Arriving passengers with symptoms of COVID 19 may be isolated as determined by the Health Authorities.
Transiting passengers/Crew members who require an overnight stay will be required to proceed to a hotel or government designated facility to await
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 to a holding area.
Guests on vacation should review the Tourism Flexibility Notice provided on this page.
The responses within this page are provided based on the current knowledge of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority as provided by the Ministry of Health Wellness and The Environment (MOHWE) and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority aims to provide travellers with the most accurate information and will continue to provide updates when information changes.
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.
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. All arriving passengers by air must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test for SARS-CoV-2 using a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab taken within seven (7) days of their flight. (This includes transiting passengers). Children below the age of 12 years, entering Antigua, DO NOT REQUIRE a COVID -19 RT-PCR test. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health Authorities.
Are COVID-19 At Home PCR kit test results acceptable?
No. To be accepted, tests must be administered by a medical professional.
What forms do I need to complete?
Presently, all arriving passengers or the head of a family will need to complete a health declaration form issued on your flight, to be shared with Port Health Authorities.
PLEASE NOTE COMPLETING THE PREVIOUSLY LISTED TRAVELLER/PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION FORM IS NO LONGER REQUIRED AHEAD OF ARRIVAL. THE FORM WHICH IS FREE OF CHARGE IS COMPLETED ON ARRIVING AT THE V.C. BIRD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
How do Health Officials decide who needs further testing 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 to determine if persons should be tested on arrival.
Is there a cost for the test if I am asked to do one on arrival?
There is a cost of $100 USD for the test on arrival. The cost is payable to the Quarantine Authority.
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.
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.
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.
What if I am asked to quarantine by Health Officials at the Government Facility; what will the cost be?
If you are advised by Health Officials to quarantine at the Government Facility, you will be required to pay a fee of $100 USD per day.
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.
What are the procedures that visiting yachts should adhere to?
The Ministry of Tourism has provided protocols for visiting yachts. These can be viewed in the table above, the diagram below or at the link here.
THE ANTIGUA & BARBUDA DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE EXPANSION OF ITS EXTENSION OF STAY SERVICES.
Members of the Yachting and Cruising community will now be able to process Extension of Stay Applications at our Seaport Units. Please click Here for information.
In an effort to safeguard staff, the general public and visitors to Antigua and Barbuda, against the spread of the dangerous infectious disease SARS COV-2 which causes COVID-19, the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Public Safety and Labour has introduced the following protocols that will apply to the process of acquiring a marriage licence. Please see requirements Here
I plan to get married in Antigua and Barbuda; how many guests am I allowed to have at my wedding?
The maximum number of guests allowed for destination weddings in Antigua and Barbuda is 25 persons.
What are the protocols surrounding weddings and events outside of hotels? (Beaches, Villas, Restaurants, etc)
Although these events are hosted at beaches, villas and speciality restaurants, the protocols established regarding physical (social) distancing, handwashing, wearing of masks etc. as stipulated by the Central Board of Health must be adhered to.
Will guest numbers be based on venue size – as has been the case for churches and funerals on island?
No. Social gatherings are now limited to 5 persons. Exceptions apply to Churches and remain at 25 persons; funerals are also limited to 25 persons.
What are expected of the guests once at an event? Are guests expected to wear masks as well as adhering to the social distancing protocols?
Yes, guests are expected to wear masks and adhere to the social distancing protocols.
What are the protocols for a three to seven-day visit and a couple wishing to have the wedding off the property they are staying at?
All visitors arriving on the island are subject to the Quarantine Authority’s protocols and guidelines.
What is the 25-guest count inclusive of? Does it include the staff required to execute the event?
The guest count does not involve event staff.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Latest Government Protocol Travel Advisory 2021
ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA – The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has updated its travel advisory protocol to ensure the continued safety of travelers and residents. The V.C. Bird International Airport is opened for international and regional air traffic. The Antigua Port Authority is opened to Cargo Vessels, Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services which are required to follow all protocols issued by Port Health.
Ministry of Tourism & Investment – Tourism Flexibility Notice
For the purpose of COVID-19 management, currently, tourists are defined as persons who come to the country to stay at certified accommodations, regardless of the period of stay.
Whereas other visitors and returning nationals are required to sign a quarantine form, thereby committing to remain on the property indicated, the Health Authorities agree on a certain controlled flexibility when it comes to tourists.
The consideration is that tourists usually come for a very limited number of days, during which they wish to enjoy the advertised offerings of the destination, even with some understandable limitations, given the COVID-19 reality.
With that in mind, apart from certifying hotels and other accommodations, the Health and Tourism Authorities have certified a number of leisure activities, to ensure that visitors experience them in a safe manner.
Every certified establishment or individual offering accommodation, services and/or activities, must be in possession of a valid certificate, indicating COVID-19 protocol training. They are expected at all times to demonstrate that they are enforcing the relevant protocols, and will be monitored for that reason.
Certified activities include: destination weddings, dining out, land and sea excursions and certain other outdoor activities.
Compliance with the nationally established COVID-19 protocols is a legal requirement, and is therefore expected of all visitors.
The FULL List of Certified Accommodations in Antigua and Barbuda is available here. You will also find a listing of some of the certified excursions and restaurants.
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 on vacation?
All guests travelling to Antigua and Barbuda on vacation are required to stay at a certified accommodation property. If on arrival a guest cannot provide proof of stay at a certified property, guest will be required to make alternate arrangements at an approved property. If not, guest will be required to quarantine at a government facility. You will find a comprehensive listing of certified accommodations HERE.
All certified accommodations listed have undergone inspection by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism.
Do you have re-opening dates of hotels?
Visitors can view the link: Hotel Reopening Dates which provides hotel re-opening dates of hotels within the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association.
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.
Beaches in Antigua and Barbuda are open on weekdays and weekends between the hours of 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the current curfew period, which ends on March 31 2020.
Will I be able to rent a car?
Certified transportation should be taken from the airport to your place of lodging. Once at your place of lodging, arrangements can be made for car rentals with certified providers.
Can I travel to Barbuda?
Yes, you are able to travel to Barbuda and will be asked to follow protocols as provided by health officials.
Can I travel to Barbuda for an excursion?
Yes, you are able to travel to Barbuda as an excursion, subject to the protocols and guidelines
Are land-based and water-based excursions open?
Yes, most excursions have re-opened after the appropriate inspection, training and certification by the Ministry of Health and Tourism Officials. Some of the certified excursions are listed under Antigua and Barbuda is Open.
Are restaurants open?
Yes, restaurants are open for dine-in, take-out and delivery service.
Are bars open?
No bars are presently closed..
Is there a curfew in place?
Update on New Curfew Antigua and Barbuda
Curfew Hours are now increased, compelling all, except essential workers, to be off the streets between 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 am beginning March 15, 2021.
The curfew period goes until March 31, 2021.
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.
DEPARTING ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
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.
Travellers 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.
If my pre-departure Covid test required for entry into the country I am travelling to returns positive how soon can I retest?
Travellers who test positive assuming there are no symptoms should wait a period of 10 – 14 days before re-testing as mandated by public health. Travellers with symptoms should wait until the end of the displayed symptoms.
If the country that I am travelling to after my stay in Antigua and Barbuda requires I take an RT-PCR test or Antigen Test before travel where can I have this done and what is the cost?
Persons travelling from Antigua & Barbuda to countries that require a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result or Antigen test be shown on arrival can arrange to have the RT-PCR test or Antigen test performed at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC), Michael’s Mount, Antigua. Testing is available at a cost. The Mount St. John’s Medical Centre three-step testing process, which applies to travellers only, is outlined below.
Steps for MSJMC RT-PCR Testing and ANTIGEN Testing Requirements:
THIS PROCESS APPLIES TO TRAVELERS ONLY!
Travellers are required to commence the process at least 7 days prior to the departure date to facilitate an appointment for swabbing.
***The appointment will be confirmed once registration and financial clearance have been verified.
STEP 1 – REGISTRATION AND BILLING
· Completed RT-PCR test request form/antigen test request form for each person, See Form for use for both tests Here
· Government issued photo ID (passport preferred)
· RT PCR Test Processing Fee:
$300 XCD – Antigua & Barbuda citizens AND Citizens of CARICOM member states (N.B this category does not include international patients with MBS cards)
$200 USD – International Patients
ANTIGEN Test Processing Fee:
$260 XCD – Everyone
See Credit Card Authorization Form Here
STEP 2 – SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
· Please email a copy of your travel itinerary and this stamped PCR request form to email@example.com for an appointment. Please indicate any special requirements with regards to timeline for validity of test, result submission to the destination before travel, etc.
STEP 3 – SAMPLE COLLECTION
· Original PCR /Antigen test request form stamped by MSJMC Cashier & Passport must be presented to the physician at the time for testing.
*** Sample Collection Days: Weekdays (Monday – Thursday) from 2pm to 4pm & Friday from 1pm to 3pm (BY APPOINTMENTS ONLY). Results are issued 24-48 hours after sample collection.
For further information about covid-19 testing at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre in Antigua, please call Tel: (268) 484-2700 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Antigen Testing is also available for visitors staying at the following listed resorts in Antigua: Admirals Inn, Antigua Village, Antigua Yacht Club Marina, Buccaneer Beach Club, Blue Waters Resort, Carlisle Bay Resort, Cocobay Resort, Curtain Bluff Resort, Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Hammock Cove, Hawksbill Resort, Hermitage Bay, Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, Jumby Bay Island, Mill Reef Club, Nonsuch Bay Resort, Ocean Point Resort, Pineapple Beach Club Antigua, Sandals Grande Antigua, Siboney Beach Club, St. James’s Club, Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa, Blue Waters and The Inn at English Harbour.