The Antigua and Barbuda government is offering an 8,000 square feet parcel of land as an inducement to get nationals to get vaccinated as the island moves to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
A statement issued after the regular Cabinet meeting said persons must be vaccinated between the period June 7 to June 30.
“Although nearly 35,000 adults have taken the first dose at this time, at least 5,000 additional first-doses need to be administered by June 30, 2021. The Cabinet agreed that this novel approach towards inducing vaccination is intended to encourage as many adults to quickly vaccinate and to move the country closer towards achieving herd immunity. Parliamentarians and their family members are disqualified from participating in the raffle,” the statement said.
It said that other incentives that have been relied upon to encourage vaccination against the COVID-19 disease will continue, including food, gasoline, and gift vouchers.
Meanwhile, the government said that the new protocols governing entry into Antigua and Barbuda has come into effect and those nationals who are fully vaccinated and who have been tested within seven days of arrival at V.C. Bird International Airport, may receive their swabs upon arrival either at the Airport or at home.
“Results will be returned within 48 hours following the test, and negative results will cause the new arrivals to be released from quarantine. Those returning nationals who have only a COVID-19 negative test and who have not had any vaccine or only one vaccine administered will be required to spend 14 days in quarantine. A second test will be administered near the end of the 14-day quarantine period; if negative, the returning national will be released,” the statement said.
It added that a visitor on arrival and staying at a hotel deemed a bio-secure space, will be dispatched to that hotel. The visitor could be tested either at the hotel or the airport.
“The Cabinet encourages all persons 18 years and older who were born outside of Antigua and Barbuda and who now reside within the state to become vaccinated. The immigration status does not and will not be held against those non-nationals who may be out of time.
“The Cabinet has ordered the Minister of Legal Affairs to enshrine within the Regulations governing COVID-19, that those immigrants who might otherwise be subject to “removal” or “deportation” cannot be prosecuted for seeking the immunization vaccine.
“Those who are yet to regularize their presence within the State will not be removed or deported from the State, the Cabinet instructed, so that all adults living in Antigua and Barbuda will be vaccinated, no questions asked,” the statement noted.
Antigua and Barbuda have recorded 1,262 positive cases and 42 deaths linked to the virus since March last year.