Tuesday August 24, 2021, Antigua and Barbuda: Our destination remains under serious threat as we are continuously faced with a wave of Covid-19 infections.  The Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association/ABHTA in consideration of the viability of the sector, has taken the position, that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda should move to mandate that only vaccinated travelers may enter for stay-over vacations.

Vernon Jeffers Snr, Executive Chairman of the ABHTA commented on the position of the ABHTA by stating that “Our focus is squarely on the protection of our employees, their families and further, for 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 such a mandate for arriving passengers go into effect as of October 1, 2021, allowing passengers sufficient notice of any changes to our travel regulations. Further, travelers aged 5 – 11 be required to have a negative PCR test with three (3) days of travel for entry and passengers 12 – 17 requiring full vaccination for travel.

The ABHTA will also be seeking an audience with the policy makers to recommend a reduction in the testing period for travel to the destination.  Currently all travelers must present a PCR Test within seven (7) days of travel.  A proposed reduction to three (3) days with the acceptance of a Rapid Antigen Test for Vaccinated travelers will also be tabled in the discussion.