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Anguilla slated to receive COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021

Anguilla slated to receive COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021
Anguilla slated to receive COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021
Written by Harry S. Johnson

The Ministry of Health and Health Authority of Anguilla officials have briefed the Executive Council on plans for the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in Anguilla, following on the United Kingdom’s commitment to incorporate Anguilla and the other overseas territories into the procurement for mainland UK. The vaccines are expected on island as early as January 19, 2021.

“Although Anguilla has had only six COVID-19 cases and no deaths thus far, as we welcome visitors from global destinations including those where the virus is prevalent, it means that Anguilla continues to be highly vulnerable,” declared the Hon. Parliamentary Secretary, Mrs. Quincia Gumbs-Marie.  “However, with the testing protocols we have in place, our enhanced public health facilities, and now the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine in January, we are confident in our ability to successfully and efficiently manage, treat and contain any incidence of the virus that may occur,” she concluded.

In Anguilla’s current Phase Two reopening, which started on November 1st, visitors to the island, including those on short stays of one to two weeks, can experience a wide range of certified and approved resorts, attractions, tours and excursions. Guests may dine out at certified “bubble” restaurants, including such favorites as Blanchards, Straw Hat, Ember and Mango’s; play a round of golf at the Greg Norman designed championship course at the CuisinArt Golf Resort; take a memorable sunset or all-day sail aboard the Tradition, a classic West Indian sloop; and enjoy the ever-popular offshore excursions to Little Bay, Sandy Island, Scilly Cay and Prickly Pear, including private lunches. 

A huge variety of watersports, from scuba diving, sport fishing and kayaking, to paddleboards, glass-bottomed boat rides, Sunfish and Hobie Cats are also available to the active vacationer. And for fitness enthusiasts, beach workouts, yoga, spin classes, pilates or private one-on-one fitness classes are all on offer. Additional activities are being added weekly, as service providers become certified; guests should check with their host resort for more information.  Advance reservations are required, made through the hotel concierge/reservation staff or villa management, with transportation provided by a certified and approved ground operator.

“We have worked very hard with the Ministries of Tourism and Health to create the best and most innovative solution for our short stay guests in particular, to enjoy the rich and rewarding Anguilla experience,” said Kenroy Herbert, Chairman of the Anguilla Tourist Board.  “Our approach balances the twin priorities of protecting the health and safety of our guests and our residents, while providing the exceptional vacation experience that we are known for.”

All visitors are welcome in Phase Two, provided that they meet the pre-entry approval requirements.  Visitors planning to travel to Anguilla must visit the Anguilla Tourist Board website and complete and submit the Travel Authorization Form; a dedicated concierge will guide each applicant through the process.  A negative test result obtained three to five days prior to arrival is required, along with health insurance that covers travelers internationally, including COVID-related treatment, and all visitors will be given a PCR test on arrival.  Guests are required to remain in their rooms at their host property until they receive the result of the test administered on arrival, which is usually within 24 hours. With a negative test result, guests are then free to make their reservations and embark on the approved excursions and activities. Longer staying guests, of 14 days and more, are required to take a second PCR test on Day 15 of their visit (as the first day of the stay in place requirement is the day after their arrival).  If the test result is negative, they are then free to rent a vehicle and roam around the island on their own.  Anguilla currently has the lowest Travel Health Notice from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.