Proof of vaccination no longer required of restaurant diners and gym users, even as mask wearing becomes optional today

Several additional COVID-19 protocols have been discontinued as  active cases of the virus now stand at only five countrywide.

Proof of vaccination is no longer required to patronize gyms, restaurants, and places of entertainment, including bars and clubs.

Therefore, persons using these establishments will not be required to show their vaccination cards in order to dine in-house or have a drink; and those who frequent gyms can now undertake their exercise routines freely.

This requirement reportedly was dropped on Monday, March 14, and is part of a number of Regulations that will also be discontinued from today, March 16.

The mask-wearing protocol becomes optional from today, as well, and so residents who have longed to abandon the face covering can legally discard it.

However, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rhonda Sealy-Thomas and her team have proposed that face masks continue to be used by persons who work indoors and who are engaged with people with whom they are not familiar. 

Residents attending school and church, and in civic groups, bars and clubs should also mask-up, and Sealy-Thomas further advises that masks be worn outdoors where there are crowds of people.

During its sitting last Wednesday, the Executive decided that mask-wearing is not required of students – but for security personnel, administrators, and those who will likely have contact with a large number of students.

Conversely, Director of Education Clare Browne has recommended that masks be worn by everyone on the school plant in order to minimize any spread of the disease should there be a new outbreak.

Among the Regulations repealed, as COVID-19 infections continue to decline, is the bi-monthly testing of unvaccinated public sector workers.

However, hand washing, temperature checks and other sanitary protocols remain in place.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health is reporting that four new lab-confirmed virus cases have been recorded, as of Saturday, March 12.  Therefore, the total number of confirmed infections in Antigua and Barbuda is 7,470.

Thirteen recovered cases were recorded for that period, and there are no hospitalized cases.