State of Emergency would end in Antigua and Barbuda before December 27, 2021, while the COVID travel restrictions imposed by the island on the other countries with high rates of COVID-19 infections such as – Dominican Republic, Brazil, India, and South Africa would also be lifted in the month of January 2022.
The government further announced that the school doors would be open for both (vaccinated and unvaccinated) students from Monday onwards, noting that the unvaccinated secondary school students would undergo COVID test every two weeks, for which they will not be charged.
The statement released by the government officials notes that this decision to open schools for unvaccinated students was taken after the Cabinet members met with the acting Chief Medical Officer – (CMO), the Director of Education & the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, and it was concluded that the statistics show, herd immunity target among the school students has been achieved.
A statement issued on behalf of the government during a weekly cabinet meeting cites, “It was also agreed that the Ministry will conduct sessions with parents of unvaccinated students, the object being to inform of the necessity to act now and not to delay in getting their children vaccinated”.
Apart from this, all public sector workers, whether vaccinated or not, can return back to their offices from December 1, 2021, while the workers who will not be vaccinated by December 1 would have to undergo free of cost COVID tests every two weeks.
The sports competition can be held from Monday onwards under the previously issued COVID guidelines.
Antiguan government further noted that as per the figures, the COVID-19 daily infection rate has also decreased in the past few days, following which the decision to ease the restrictions.
In Antigua and Barbuda, to date, 60,789 individuals (62.1%) are vaccinated with receiving atleast one dose of the vaccine, while 54,689 individuals(55.9%) have received their required doses of the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines and are now fully inoculated.