In their continued bid to address the rising number of infections that are now stressing its health system, the Government of Antigua Barbuda is ending in-home quarantine, among other more stringent measures.
Following an emergency meeting of the Cabinet today, new regulations to govern the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic were agreed. The meeting also looked at the need for more healthcare workers and the arrival of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
These new measures go into effect Tuesday, February 16, 2021 until March 15, 2021:
i. Curfew Hours are now increased, compelling all, except essential workers, to be off the streets between 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 am.
ii. Social gatherings are now limited to five people. Exceptions apply to Churches and remain at 25 people; funerals are also limited to 25.
iii. Home Quarantine and Home Isolation will no longer be allowed. Residents who test positive for Covid-19 will not be returned home but are to be sent to a wing of the quarantine hotel set aside for infected persons; persons in the household of the infected resident are to be tested and may be required to quarantine at a government facility, wearing a bracelet.
iv. Bracelets will be worn by infected persons and may be worn by other persons placed in isolation and/or quarantine in order to ensure that no infected person disobeys the confinement rules that apply.
The Cabinet was informed that 100,000 syringes have been ordered in order to ensure that all persons in Antigua and Barbuda can be successfully vaccinated.
The island has received 5,000 doses of the vaccine as a gift from Dominica. Healthcare workers will be the first to receive the shots beginning on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. The Police and other front-line workers will also be provided with the vaccine as quickly as possible. The vaccine will also be administered to those who have contracted the disease since it medical officials believe it decreases the length of hospital stay, and appears to stop the spread to others.