Antigua and Barbuda: Escalation of COVID-19 because of Tourism worries people of Antigua and Barbuda. Member of Coronavirus COVID-19 Antigua and Barbuda, Darryl Lake presented an article which demanded “BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate“, and it is requested from several citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.
This is what the government should introduce immediately here in Antigua. Would it stop the blame game between the locals and the tourists and perhaps enable the tourism economy to establish itself again?
It was announced in early December that the British Virgin Islands reopened its borders to international travellers, exclusive to arrivals at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, with specific COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
Closed to visitors since March, the BVI Government has developed an extensive program to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Territory.
Before landing in the BVI, all guests must have a certified negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result within five days of arrival, as well as proof of travel insurance that includes comprehensive medical coverage.
Besides, all travelers must apply for a “BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate” within five days of travel to the BVI and must complete the application at least 48 hours before arrival with the PCR’s uploading COVID-19 test result.
Applications can be found at www.bvigateway.bviaa.com. Upon arriving at the airport, travellers will be directed to the BVI’s new “Welcome Centre” for an additional RT-PCR test.
All guests are required to activate a contact tracing system on their phones, which require either data or WiFi connectivity and wear a government-issued wristband monitoring device, in addition to being given an appointment for their day four RT-PCR test.
All arriving visitors are required to quarantine for four days at their hotel, resort, villa or docked vessel (for charter guests), with another RT-PCR test administered on the fourth day.
If negative, guests will be allowed to move around the BVI freely while still following the government’s current social distancing and safety measures. Anyone who tests positive upon arrival must continue to quarantine at their respective location for a minimum of 14 days.
Marie Hernaus commented, “We were testing on arrival in June last year. That did not work. Americans point blank refused to get tested. Who wants to get tested 2 or 3 times during a 7-day trip. The test is costly as it is.”
Other Facebook user commented, “Barbados told people they could come test three days before they travelled and quarantine for two days, test a second time on the second day. Only they had so many visitors that they couldn’t handle the testing, and people were still stuck inside their hotel room 11 days into a two week holiday. It only really works for those planning to spend a long time there. The package holiday market cancelled all holidays to Barbados when the quarantine was introduced, and on the Sandals groups, it was flooded from people swapping Barbados to Antigua instead.”