Individuals who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to be tested on arrival at the airport.
Health Minister, Dr. Irving McInytre, who made the disclosure while speaking as a guest on Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s Annou Pale Sunday talk show this week.
He said this forms part of the new COVID-19 protocols which will come into effect on Wednesday 19th May, 2021.
“If you are fully vaccinated and you fit the criteria of someone who is fully vaccinated you will not be tested at the airport,” the minister said. “But you will have to go to your hotel which has to be a certified Safe in Nation (SiN) property, or a government quarantine facility.”
He said at these facilities, on day 2, a PCR test will be done and the individual will receive the results within 24 hours.
“So what it means is a minimum of two days, so actually if you are done on the second day, you might actually go home on that same second day or the next morning,” he explained. “So the days of 5 and 6 and 7 days in quarantine are over for fully vaccinated travelers.”
The minister further explained that there are certain typical cases where if one is symptomatic then a rapid antigen test will be conducted.
“But if you are fully vaccinated you don’t go through this testing,” he stated.
Dr. McIntyre added that individuals who are fully vaccinated and are not tested at the airport, are still being encouraged to wear their mask and practice physical distancing.
However, he said for those who are not fully vaccinated, the protocols remain the same.
“You get to your certified Safe in Nature property or you get to the government quarantine facility and then on the fifth (5th) day we have you tested with a PCR; that means you might just go home on the sixth (6th) or seventh (7th ) day which makes a big difference compared to the 2 or 2 ½ days,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Dr. McIntyre explained the procedures that are in place with regard to the high risk alert.
“You may have vaccinated travelers and non-vaccinated travelers, but then you might also get a traveler who is a high risk alert; that means maybe the traveler had a fever or has been complaining of loss of taste or having headaches or he could have been working in a COVID hospital or related to a COVIS-19 patient. So all this gives us a little red alert and in that case, we would quickly do a rapid antigen test,” he stated.
Dr. McIntyre said if the antigen test is negative, the individual proceeds to his normal two-day quarantine.
“If the antigen test is positive, then we would have to isolate him.”