COVID 19 - FAQ FOR TRAVELLERS Wednesday 18th March 2020
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority continues to keep abreast of the latest developments related to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and would like to assure travellers that precautionary measures are being implemented to guard against further spread of the virus within the destination.
Response to Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
F.A.Q for travelers to Antigua and Barbuda
Does Antigua and Barbuda have any cases of COVID-19 /coronavirus?
On March 13, 2020, Antigua and Barbuda reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus. The passenger arrived into the island from the United Kingdom, and shortly after exhibited symptoms of the virus. The female passenger was isolated as soon as the case was suspected, and a clinical sample was collected, and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA in Trinidad and Tobago. The sample returned positive, within less than 24 hours. The passenger is currently in isolation and is being monitored. All identifiable contacts, that the passenger would have had are being investigated.
What measures does the Government of Antigua and Barbuda have in place to contain the spread of COVID-19?
The national multi-sectoral COVID-19 task force established by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda meets regularly, to assess all international and regional developments related to COVID-19.
Effective March 12, 2020, travel advisories were issued denying entry to any foreign national (including passengers and crew) who has travelled to China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Korea and Singapore the past twenty-eight (28) days. However, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda as well as resident diplomats will be allowed entry.
Several measures have also been put in place to ensure that our borders are protected, with necessary screenings taking place at all ports of entry. Measures were put in place to restrict entry from particular cruise ships with suspected cases, airlines from particular countries, and to quarantine persons arriving from particular locations.
A retrofitted isolation and quarantine center is being prepared at the Margetson ward, Holberton Hospital. The ward will be equipped to handle any outbreak of the COVID-19 here in Antigua and Barbuda, including quarantining, isolation, treatment and laboratory testing. This center will be ready within the next week.
In Barbuda, an isolation room has also been identified at the Hanna Thomas Hospital.
Can I still travel to Antigua and Barbuda?
Yes, we continue to welcome visitors to our shores. If, however you have travelled from China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Korea and Singapore within the past twenty-eight (28) days you will not be allowed entry. Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda as well as resident diplomats will be allowed entry.
If you are travelling from a location, not presently on this list please ensure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. These include practising proper hand hygiene, good cough and sneeze etiquette and avoidance of sick persons.
Visit the World Health Organisation, for more tips on staying safe.
If I have already booked a trip, and would like to cancel my trip, what should I do?
Contact your airline, hotel or your travel advisor to discuss their cancellation policies in light of the COVID-19 / coronavirus situation.
Which countries does Antigua and Barbuda currently have travel advisories on as a result of COVID-19 / coronavirus?
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has updated its travel advisory effective March 12, 2020 to deny entry to any foreign national (including passengers and crew) who has travelled to China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Korea and Singapore the past twenty-eight (28) days. This decision is concluded considering alarming increases in the number of persons testing positive for the COVID-19 virus in recent weeks. However, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda as well as resident diplomats will be allowed entry.
What screening measures are currently in place?
Several measures have also been put in place to ensure that our borders are protected, with necessary screenings taking place at all ports of entry.
A port health facility has been set-up at the V. C. Bird International Airport and is manned from 7 am -11 pm each day to screen passengers arriving from various countries. There has also been increased Coast Guard patrols of our coastal waters, with all vessels entering our shores will be required to give advance notice before being permitted to dock. Surveillance has also been increased on cruise vessels entering.
Are there any major events that are postponed or cancelled?
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda on March 16, 2020 announced that effective immediately, it has imposed a 30 day ban on all fete, parties and similar social events as a pre-emptive measure to prevent the contracting and spread of the coronavirus / covid-19.
Major destination events cancelled as a result of the covid-19 situation include the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta which was scheduled for 1st April – 8th April 2020, now cancelled until 2021. Travellers are advised to contact Event Organisers for information on event cancellations or postponements.
If I am in Antigua and suspect that I may have COVID-19, what should I do?
Inform the hotel immediately of your condition, who will advise you of the next steps. If you are not staying at a hotel, please call the 24-hour hotline manned by the emergency medical services and advise them of your condition.
The Antigua and Barbuda 24-hour coronavirus hotline number is 268-462-6843. Emails can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there an Isolation and Quarantine facility in place?
A retrofitted isolation and quarantine center will be ready next week at the Margetson ward, Holberton Hospital. The ward will be equipped to handle any outbreak of the COVID-19 here in Antigua and Barbuda, including quarantining, isolation, treatment and laboratory testing.
The Facility will be equipped with:
5 Isolation Rooms
12 Quarantine Rooms
Housing facility for nurses and doctors
A testing lab
Within Barbuda, an isolation room has also been identified at the Hanna Thomas Hospital.
Can testing be done in Antigua?
Arrangements are currently being put in place to allow for testing to take place in Antigua. Presently testing is done at the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA in Trinidad and Tobago. Testing takes 48 hours.
How long does testing take?
Currently testing is done in Trinidad. Testing takes approximately 48 hours.
Where can I go to receive regular updates on the COVID-91 situation in Antigua and Barbuda?
For latest updates, go to the official website of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and access the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment’s on Facebook.
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