The Covid-19 pandemic that has challenged economies around the world, remained a primary item of discussion and decision-making for the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda. The proposal to allow unvaccinated visitors to enter Antigua and Barbuda with the benefit of a rapid antigen or PCR test was placed on hold until more data can be gathered.

The progression of the Omicron variant is being evaluated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that the restrictions inhibit travel and make it more costly to travel, but does not make travel any less risky. The Cabinet will revisit the subject next week when it convenes. All Covid-19 protocols remain in place.

The Cabinet addressed the item of “sick leave” taken by Covid-19 infected workers who are compelled to quarantine or to remain isolated for periods of 10 to 14 calendar days, or even longer when they have fallen gravely ill or hospitalized. The Minister of Labour informed that the challenge to find a reasonable methodology is global, just as is the pandemic itself.

Consequently, the recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Caribbean Congress of Labour will be examined. There must also be consultations with the national unions and employers to reach a reasonable settlement of the issues that will likely be taken to Parliament.