The stunning island nation of Antigua and Barbuda has announced it will introduce a phased reopening to its tourism sector, with the first commercial flight landing today.
Antigua and Barbuda is opening its borders to both regional and international travellers from all countries, but a series of protocols will need to be followed for visitors to the islands.
All incoming passengers will be required to wear a facemask when they land on the islands and it must be worn in public areas throughout their stay; all incoming passengers must also complete a health declaration form and screenings and thermal checks will occur on arrival. Visitors may also be asked to undergo a virus test on arrival to their hotel.
Minister of Tourism & Investment, the Hon. Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez said in a press conference: “Today we take the first steps to restoring and reopening our tourism economy. Our tourism-dependent region has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic… Tourism is the economic lifeline of our country, it helps build our infrastructure, and employs a third of Antiguans and Barbudans. It has turned out to be the most challenging year in our history.
“It should be noted that we are opening up to travellers from all countries. Those travelling to Antigua are not required to be tested in their home city. All incoming passengers will undergo an antigen test when they arrive.”
Colin James, CEO, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority added in a statement that the nation ‘looks forward’ to welcoming visitors back and is ‘excited’ that its borders are opening. He continued: “This is still a highly unprecedented time and we realise that we are now entering a new and ever-changing landscape. Priorities in the travel industry have shifted, and our guest’s priorities are different – we have worked diligently across all sectors on the islands as well as in collaboration with our Caribbean neighbours to prepare for the new normal and to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all.”
The Caribbean begins to open up to international tourists again
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Antigua and Barbuda joins a number of other Caribbean nations starting to open their borders. The Aruba Tourism Authority expects its borders to open between June 15 and July 1, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation says it hopes to commence commercial travel on July 1 and Saint Lucia started welcoming visitors back to the island today, June 4.