The Antigua and Barbuda government is making the necessary contact to get the country off a list of countries where New Yorkers face quarantine upon their return from vacation.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced recently that international travelers coming from what are considered Level 2 and 3 countries will have to quarantine and fill out a travel form when they arrive in New York. Antigua is level three.
Cuomo signed the executive order Monday in response to the CDC’s decision to roll back screening measures at airports amid rising COVID-19 cases across the world.
Health officials say the measure is necessary for contact tracing purposes.
Cabinet spokesperson Information Minister Melford Nicholas, indicated during the cabinet press briefing that the CDC warning has affected the country’s tourism sector.
“The absence of Antigua from the exemption list did cause some alarm in the sector. I think some of the hoteliers have indicated rapid cancellations and consequently, the matter was escalated to the Minister of Tourism.
“We did discuss it at Cabinet [on Thursday and] already measures have been put in place. We even went as far as mobilising our Ambassador to Washington, Ron Sanders and we have made a determination at the level of Governor Cuomo in New York, [that] this is a state-level decision that was made in respect of those types of re-entry restrictions.
“It was determined that the governorship in New York was relying on the outlook from the CDC, which in itself seemed to have had some lagging information in respect of Antigua. So the engagement that is taking place now between all those agencies of the government – including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism and our ambassador in Washington – are focused on getting the CDC to present the most current information,” Nicholas explained.