Feeling apprehensive about post-pandemic travel is to be expected. But after months of restrictions, feeling the sun on your skin is high on a lot of people’s priority lists, and we all deserve it after the year we’ve had. Once you have decided you’re going away, the next decision to make is where you are going to go. Alice from our Product Team recently travelled to Antigua, and here she tells us why she thinks it’s a fantastic option.
Negative PCR test required by all travellers 7 days prior to travel.
Covid status for UK travellers: Amber – UK citizens can travel but must quarantine on return.
Covid status for US travellers: Level 1 – fully vaccinated US citizens can travel to Antigua (no quarantine required).
We all know how busy the couple of days leading up to a trip can be, especially when you are travelling with a family. To travel to most European destinations, you will need proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. Go to Antigua, however, and this test only needs to be taken in the 7 days prior to travelling, giving you plenty more time to fit your test into your busy pre-travel schedule. Additionally, if you are going with your family, Antigua earns bonus points for the fact that they don’t require children under the age of 12 to take a pre-arrival PCR test, reducing any additional stress that could burst your excitement bubble.
Arriving in Antigua is, to put it simply, easy! I recommend having your negative test result printed out as they will ask to see this, as well as your pre-arrival health declaration form which they give you on the flight. Once they have stamped these, it’s a quick temperature check and straight through to immigration. Fewer flights arriving and reduced passengers in the airport mean that everything is very efficient and well organised, from disembarking the plane to meeting our driver only took us around 30 minutes.
Once you arrive at your resort and get that mask off (a really great feeling after the long journey), you’ll enjoy a welcome drink as you check-in and everything will seem almost back to normal. You will find that locals and in-resort staff are all wearing masks (it is asked that you wear yours when walking around the resort but not when eating or sunbathing – so don’t worry about those tan lines) and there is hand sanitizer in abundance. But aside from these minor elements, you would be forgiven for forgetting that Covid exists!
In fact, travelling to a country where the tourist population is much lower than usual is likely to enhance your experience. Capacity at most venues is reduced, so you can head up to Shirley Heights for sundowners and enjoy the exceptional view with only 100 other visitors (usually there would be up to 1500 people there!). This Antiguan staple hasn’t lost its charm or its atmosphere, the only difference is that you won’t have to queue to get your iconic photo. Restaurants are well and truly open. If (like us) a long rosé lunch on the beach is your idea of holiday bliss, then don’t miss Catherine’s Café. You must try the Fruits de Mer and if you want to enjoy the venue for longer, we can book you your own private space on the beach there.
Masks aside, you would have to look closely to see the changes made in light of Covid-19. Staff everywhere are making huge efforts to make everyone feel safe and secure without detracting from the experience, and they’re doing an exceptional job of it. With around half their population vaccinated and an increasing uptake in vaccinations, Antigua is looking likely to become a huge hit with tourists. Our advice is to get there first!