The Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association has called on the government to mandate that only fully vaccinated travelers be allowed to enter for stayover vacations, due to a rise in Covid-19 infections in the country.
Vernon Jeffers, executive chairman, said, "Our focus is squarely on the protection of our employees, their families and the sustainability of the sector. The hospitality industry has taken a severe hit from the Covid-19 pandemic and, for the immediate future, the pandemic will continue to cause uncertainty in occupancy levels and sustained employment. We are in a difficult period calling for some tough but necessary decisions to be made."
The association is proposing that the vaccination mandate for arriving passengers 12 years and over take effect Oct. 1, which would enable sufficient notice of any changes to the current travel regulations.
Currently all travelers must present a negative PCR test result taken within seven days of arrival.
The vaccine proposal by the association also calls for a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result, but within within three days of travel, for all vaccinated travelers.
If the government does call for a vaccine mandate, Antigua and Barbuda will join several other Caribbean countries that restrict entry only to fully vaccinated travelers, including Anguilla, Grenada, St. Barts, St. Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos (effective Sept. 1) and Trinidad and Tobago.