ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders are due to meet later on Monday to discuss arrangements that would allow their nationals to enter Caribbean countries without taking the various tests for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In recent times, the regional countries which have been reopening their borders, have created so-called “travel bubbles” allowing for nationals from several countries to freely move in and out without having to undergo many of the tests required for entry and exit from the islands as a result of the COVID-19.
However, some countries have removed others and a senior government official, speaking on a radio programme here, said that Barbados, for example had created a bubble indicating that if you are coming from a number of islands you don’t need a COVID-19 test.
“Antigua and Barbuda has opted for the fact that we are saying, no. According to the dictates of the Ministry of Health in Antigua and Barbuda, once you are coming into Antigua and Barbuda, irrespective o where you coming from you must have a COVID-19 negative PCR test.
“So even if we were allowed into that bubble, we would have been outstanding in that we would not have allowed their people in without the test. What is being now is that there is a meeting of the heads this afternoon at 3.30 pm (local time) where they looking to see if they could find a way to harmonise the whole aspect of entry and exit amongst the CARICOM islands,” the official said.
The bubble usually includes countries that have demonstrated considerable success in containing and combatting the COVID-19 pandemic within their respective borders.