If you’re feeling like you can’t stomach another lockdown in the cold and rain of the Northern Hemisphere right now, you’re far from alone.
Everyone is missing travel, and warm, safe destinations taking covid-19 seriously, but still offering a seriously good time, with a healthy dose of Vitamin D are exactly what people are after. Antigua & Barbuda right now has found a balance between vital safety and all the things which make a Caribbean break flawless, and it may be the perfect place to ride out the winter.
Antigua & Barbuda Covid-19 Protocols
The first big question: what does it take to enter Antigua & Barbuda right now? The answer: a negative covid-19 PCR test taken within 7 days of arrival. That, and a health form, and non symptomatic travelers are good to go. There’s no quarantine for any non symptomatic arrivals.
To avoid the massive confusion and frustration many destinations are causing travelers, with uncertainty around entry restrictions, Antigua & Barbuda are applying a uniform approach to all travelers, so Americans, Brits and others are all welcome under the same requirements.
Antigua has gone to great lengths to certify protocols for restaurants, tours, hotels, transportation and resorts, and keeps an up to date list of all the facilities which are now covid-19 certified.
Basically, it’s an easy cheat sheet to all the places you can go and things you can do, where health officials have signed off on the best practices being in place. Over 25 of the best restaurants have already been certified to welcome visitors for dining, and many more exist for take out.
And really, it’s all about the beaches, right?
Antigua & Barbuda is striking a balance between preserving the things which make travel worthwhile and the essential health protocols to keep covid-19 spread at bay. You can leave your hotel, you can dine out and perhaps most importantly to many, you can enjoy the beaches on these stunning islands.
Speaking to early visitors, GSTP is told the vibe is “incredible” right now.
According to the official Antigua and Barbuda tourism resource, “for beach activities where physical distancing requirements are met, the wearing of a face covering would not be required”.
Masks are required in transit, and in many public spaces, but once you reach a little slice of paradise and can keep social distancing, you’re free to take off the mask and soak up the sun.
Things to do? Activities are open
Again, certification is everything, and a long pause in travel ahead of the best weather season allowed Antigua and Barbuda to properly vet tourism businesses and give them a chance to become covid-19 compliant. From food tours to snorkeling, fishing, off road driving and hiking, hundreds of activities have reopened.
Certifying businesses helps make trip planning less of a minefield, without having to worry whether a tour operator is taking the proper precautions and doing everything in their power to run a safe business. Right now, less stress in the travel experience goes a long way.
What About Getting To Antigua?
October is always the start of busy season for Antigua and Barbuda, as the best weather approaches, thanks to the islands enviable positions near the equator. As such, flights from most major gateways begin to resume. Google Flights can be a great way to check options from your point of origin.
From the USA, American operates a variety of flights to Antigua from Miami, which means one stop connections from most departure points. JetBlue also offers direct flights from New York to Antigua VC Bird International Airport (ANU).
In the UK, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways both operate direct flights, with British Airways departures already flying, and Virgin Atlantic resuming flights from the 26th of October. Virgin Atlantic will fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route to Antigua.
If you’re looking for a winter getaway, this is definitely among the best options, and the weather is all but guaranteed to be lovely. A beach sounds pretty good right now, particularly in Antigua and Barbuda.