Antigua and Barbuda govt announces mandatory vaccination against COVID-19

The Antiguan government has announced mandatory COVID-19 vaccine measures following the rise in virus cases. These measures will be in effect from 1 October 2021. 

Antigua and Barbuda: The Antiguan government has announced mandatory COVID-19 vaccine measures following the rise in virus cases. These measures will be in effect from 1 October 2021. 

The Cabinet has agreed that all the unvaccinated government employees, including the Public Service, statutory corporations and companies, where the government holds majority shares, will be asked to remain at their homes until they are vaccinated and has its proof and shall not be able to receive wage if they do not comply with the new vaccination measures.  

All the officers and support staff of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force are also needed to be vaccinated.  

While the Cabinet granted permission to the Trade Unions and the Employee Associations to conduct educational awareness sessions via both virtual and face-to-face engagements but are required to follow the COVID-19 protocols strictly.  

If the students and teachers(including the pre-school and primary school) 

 are attending face-to-face classes, both of them are required to be vaccinated. All caregivers and support staff is also needed to be fully vaccinated to provide services at elderly care facilities. 

As per new measures, all arriving passengers, including returning nationals and residents, are required to have at least the first dose of a vaccine approved by the appropriate authorities in Antigua and Barbuda. 

Informal or public gatherings to be restricted to members of the same household, beaches will be closed between 12 noon and 5 am daily commencing 20 September 2021. Bus drivers, conductors and taxi drivers are required to be vaccinated effectively from 1 October 2021.

Under new measures, all pleasure craft fetes, parties and entertainment events and tours around the coastal waters and offshore islands are suspended within effect from 18 September until 29 September 2021. Thereafter, the only authorized excursion will be allowed by the appropriate authorities. 

While all the Vendors, merchants and service providers and staff operating at the ports of entry are also required to be vaccinated. 

The Cabinet has further noted that if the people fail to comply with the current policy, they will face restrictions to operate.  

The Appropriate Authority may exempt the following – 

  • Individuals submitting their medical certificate that is approved by the Chief Medical Officer/ Medical Board or a request approved on religious grounds.
  • Authorized Remote Workers including – (Public Sector, Statutory Corporations & the companies with majority government ownership) between 20th September and 1st October 2021.

All the individuals exempted under the policy are required to present a negative COVID-19 test twice monthly to the authorities.