New entry protocols for Antigua and Barbuda take effect Oct. 1.

All travelers arriving by air are required to have at least one dose of an approved two-dose Covid vaccine or a single dose vaccine. Children under 18 are exempt from this requirement. 

In addition, travelers must have a Covid-19 PCR test within four days of their arrival. Children under five are exempt.

Fully vaccinated travelers who present verifiable documentation of their vaccination and/or test can stay at certified accommodations, of which there are more than 435 on both Antigua and Barbuda. Partially vaccinated travelers will be allowed to stay only at a Covid-19 certified accommodation and lodging.

Lists of the lodgings can be found on the visitantiguabarbuda.com website.

Additional measures set to take effect on Oct. 1 include require mandatory vaccinations of all public sector and government workers. In addition to government workers, the mandate applies to medical staff, teachers and eligible students, police and defense force members, bus and taxi drivers, caregivers and staff workers at elderly care facilities, cruise-pier vendors and merchants, service providers and staff operating at the ports of entry.

As of now, this mandate does not apply to the private sector workers.

Effective Sept. 20, employees were asked to stay at home until they can provide proof of vaccination. Public sector and government workers who do not comply with the vaccination requirements will not be paid for the period of noncompliance, according to the statement from prime minister Gaston Browne.

The policy is expected to stay in place indefinitely.

On-island restrictions on Antigua and Barbuda

Meanwhile, as of Oct. 1, beaches will be closed to visitors and locals from noon to 5 a.m. on weekends but open on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pleasure-craft excursions, parties and entertainment in coastal waters and private islands are currently suspended, but as of Sept. 30 will be permitted by authorization only.

Restaurants and bars off resort properties are closed, although takeout service at restaurants is available until 7 p.m.

Prior to the announcement of these policies, Antigua and Barbuda had recorded the highest number of its visitor arrivals in July and August, topping numbers reached in the same months in 2019.

The vaccination rate for the first dose of vaccine among residents stood at 45% in the early September. The population is 98,904. 

This report was updated Sept. 21 with additional information about on-island protocols.

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