VC Bird International Airport will close at midnight Thursday to all incoming commercial traffic.
Commercial air carriers that choose to fly empty aircraft to Antigua after Thursday, a Cabinet release stated, will be allowed to enter in order to collect citizens of their respective countries and return them home.
“This decision expands the announced ban on citizens from several identified countries. Those citizens of those several countries who would have arrived on British Airways, American Airlines and Air Canada, among others, may wish to take advantage of the facility,” the statement continued.
The Cabinet noted that while there have been no confirmed cases of community spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, “the government’s several ministries have been closely monitoring all developments, here and abroad. Antigua and Barbuda’s borders have remained open to air and sea traffic in order to ensure that workers across the several sectors remain employed.”
The Cabinet also hit out at what it described as a disregard and violation of the policy that limits gatherings of 25 or more persons implemented on Sunday at an emergency session of Cabinet.
“It has now become evident to the Cabinet, after examining the extant conditions and the disregard displayed by attendees at funerals, that little or no attention is being paid to the announced policy of limited social gatherings of 25 persons.
“That policy is being violated, despite the severity of the threat of community spread of the coronavirus,” the release stated.
Government says it is seeking to “safeguard the health of the people of Antigua and Barbuda”.