By Elesha George
You no longer have to be vaccinated to enter popular facilities as was the norm for more than a year.
As of Monday, patrons can attend the cinema, night clubs and bars, gyms and sporting arenas, as well as experience in-house dining at restaurants in Antigua and Barbuda without the requirement to show that they were vaccinated against Covid-19.
The new regulation was gazetted on Monday and took immediate effect.
At the beginning of March, the Cabinet announced that proof of vaccination would no longer be required to enter government businesses. The latest amendment is another one of the sweeping changes the government is making in a bid to reignite the economy.
Still, private businesses can mandate the use of proof of vaccination on their own terms. The same goes for the wearing of masks which became optional in public spaces yesterday.
However, people on the streets did not seem in a hurry to ditch the latter form of protection from the coronavirus.
They reason that once in a crowded area and among persons who aren’t in their regular circle, such as family or close friends, they will be masking up.
Their views are widely in accordance with the recommendation by the Ministry of Health to wear a face mask in any crowded place, work place, supermarket, prison, hospital, hospice, nursing home, school or other educational institution, restaurant or similar facility.
In addition, no unvaccinated public sector workers will be mandated to undergo fortnightly or other testing as a condition of their employment or requirement to work. This includes government employees, employees of a statutory corporation, state-controlled enterprise or law enforcement.
The regulations that did remain law are also important like washing or sanitising hands before entering offices or business establishments, and observing social distancing of six feet between individuals at the check-out or seated in any waiting area or while waiting on the outside to enter an office or establishment.