By Shermain Bique-Charles
Antigua and Barbuda is among countries added to the UK’s ‘green list’ meaning travellers will no longer have to quarantine upon entry there.
The news was announced yesterday by the UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and comes into effect on Wednesday.
Chief Executive Officer of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James has welcomed the news.
“This means people won’t have to quarantine when they get back to the UK and we have seen it on demand in the UK that people are desperate to go on a holiday, desperate to go on a holiday. That’s why British Airwaves had scheduled so many flights to start in July,” he said.
The new green travel list also means, according to James, that people can connect the same day into Antigua from Europe.
Dominica, Barbados, Dominica and Grenada are among the other Caribbean islands added to the list.
Shapps cautioned that all the additions to the green list, with the exception of Malta, had also been added to the green watch list, signaling that they are at risk of moving back to amber.
The Department for Transport said the plan to allow fully vaccinated people to arrive from amber list countries without having to quarantine was expected to take place in phases, starting with UK residents.
The department also said it intended to remove the guidance that people should not travel to amber countries, and it would take clinical advice on whether regular testing could provide a safe alternative to quarantine for children accompanied by vaccinated adults.
A spokesman said further details will be set out next month, including the rules for children and those unable to be vaccinated, and the dates the changes will come into effect.
All this comes as Virgin Atlantic prepares to welcome customers back onboard this month with flights between Antigua and London Heathrow.
The schedule will commence with one flight a week increasing to three times a week from mid-July.
Virgin’s Hannah Swift said Antigua is the perfect holiday destination for those wanting some much-needed beach time.
She said Antigua and Barbuda is also a safe place to holiday with over 25 percent of the population fully vaccinated and no quarantine time in certified accommodation.