The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda has changed its guidance for tourists, ahead of the busy Caribbean cruising season. The country is now open to international vaccinated superyacht visitors and other vaccinated passengers. Several further conditions apply, too.
As of October 1, all visitors must show proof of at least one dose of an approved vaccine. Approval means a vaccine recognized by the World Health Organization or the nation’s Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment. Previously, Antigua and Barbuda didn’t require vaccination. Additionally, all visitors must have proof of a negative COVID PCR test taken within four days of arrival. This, too, is new. While the government did require a negative COVID test, it was valid if taken within seven days of arrival. Note also that at-home PCR test-kit results aren’t accepted.
The only exceptions to these requirements: children less than five years old.
Another requirement is of most significance specifically to vaccinated superyacht visitors, though. All seagoing passengers are subject to quarantine according to the nation’s Port Health department. In fact, all yachts and ferries must contact the Port Authority at least six hours prior to arrival. The port officials will then provide instructions on whether to head to the Nevis Street Pier in St. John’s or a holding area.
Even with the restrictions, the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association (ABMA) is optimistic. “All indications are that this coming yachting season will be a bumper one,” says ABMA’s president, Franklyn Braithwaite. He notes that the Antigua Superyacht Challenge, the RORC Caribbean 600, and Antigua Sailing Week “already have excellent responses in terms of expressions of interest and entries, and marinas are reporting that dock reservations are flooding in.”
Charles Fernandez, Antigua’s minister of tourism, says country wishes to remain open and welcome visitors. “Putting the current temporary restrictions into place now while our visitor numbers are at the lowest in the year allows us to be ready for our main tourism season,” he explains.
The full travel advisory is on the ABMA website. The website also contains regularly updated advisories, plus details on how to obtain COVID tests for return trips back home.
Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association abma.ag