What does lifting the SoE mean?

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There has been much speculation about what the end of a 20-month long State of Emergency (SoE) will mean for the reopening of Antigua and Barbuda’s economy.

At this morning Cabinet’s Press Briefing, spokesman Minister Melford Nicholas gave further insight into the rules and regulations that will be permitted when the SoE ends at 12am on December 22, 2021.

These include no further restrictions on the freedom of movement of people and the end to curfew hours.

However, many of the covid-regulations that have been in place for well over a year will remain, governed by the Public Health Act (Dangerous Infectious Disease).

This means that all citizens and residents are to continue to wear face masks; continue to sanitise their hands; and to engage in social distancing, where possible.

“There shall be no clustering, no consumption of liquor, no music and no picnicking on the beaches even after the state of emergency has been lifted,” the Cabinet notes read.  

In addition, over the Christmas Holidays, all bars and clubs and private parties are to continue to request vaccine ID cards for entry; including cards issued overseas.

“…no other form of Covid-19 vaccination identification shall be accepted. Vaccination ID’s issued overseas for tourists and returning nationals, upon entry into Antigua and Barbuda, will be accepted at the Bars and Clubs.”

Meanwhile, fetes will be permitted over the upcoming Christmas holiday, but only vaccinated people can attend.

The government has restricted activity to one fete per day with a maximum of 300 people in attendance.

Family gatherings over the holidays are still restricted to 25 people and Nicholas is requesting that persons wear masks and social distance particularly where event planners have invited persons outside of the household.  

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