The Cabinet led by Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Thursday agreed to require all frontline government officials to be vaccinated or must make themselves available for COVID-10 tests twice per month at their personal expense. The Antigua & Barbuda government will also be requiring that only vaccinated patrons will be allowed in restaurants and bars.
Frontline workers “to include the Immigration and Customs workers, Port Health workers to include the greeters and the nurses and doctors, the EMS workers, the Police and the ABDF personnel, vendors and businesses that provide services to the Cruise Passengers in Heritage & Redcliffe Quays, Tour Operators and Taxi Drivers and others who are employed by the public sector who are compelled to have contact with those arriving at our ports, shall be vaccinated or shall be compelled to have themselves tested twice per month for Covid-19 using approved Antigen Tests. The vaccination is cost-free, the testing is at the workers’ expense,” the Cabinet statement read.
Beginning August 1 only fully vaccinated patrons can frequent restaurants and bars.
Owners of the establishments are expected to be responsible for verifying patrons’ vaccination and ID cards. Cabinet had earlier mandated only vaccinated bar owners would be granted licenses to operate.
Minister for Information the Hon. Melford Nicholas says, however, the protocol may need to be revised to apply specifically to people attending special events at these establishments and not simply dining and/or drinking.
To date, approximately 37,500 adults have taken the first dose of the vaccine that has been available to the population of men and women; an additional 30,000 adults are required to take the vaccine in order for Antigua and Barbuda to achieve “herd immunity”.