Wednesday 23 September, 2020

Barbados announces new COVID-19 safety protocols for travellers

Minister Kerrie Symmonds announcing measures at today's press conference

Minister Kerrie Symmonds announcing measures at today's press conference

Barbados is getting ready to reopen its airport to commercial flights once again starting in July.

This was stated during the press conference held by Prime Minister, Hon Mia Mottley to relax the remaining COVID-19 regulations as of Midnight July 29.

During this press conference, Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds laid out plans for Barbados' reopening of the Tourism sector, with the main focus being the health and safety of Barbadians.

"The refueling of business cannot be done without a clear mind and understanding towards the health of workers and the health of Barbadian citizens," Symmonds said.

Minister Symmonds went on to detail the exact protocols tourists will face on arrival due to COVID-19.

He said: "Before you embark on your journey to Barbados you must within 72 hours of the commencement of travel do a COVID-19 PCR Antigen Test... once you arrive into the island and you have your certificate indicating that you have passed the COVID-19 test you just clear immigration and you are allowed into Barbados." 

Minister Symmonds reiterated that the current plan was about managing risks and trying to minimize the risk of exposure to people in Barbados.

He also explained the procedure for those arrivals who have not done the mandatory COVID-19 test 72 hours before travel.

"In circumstances where people arrive here without having the COVID-19 test, they must do one at the airport. There will be a facility made available in the Concorde Experience," Symmonds stated.

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The Tourism Minister says they are mindful of the large influx of possibly over 500 people in August and are preparing for that eventuality.

To this end, they have identified four hotels as possible satellite testing facilities where tourists will be able to stay at their own expense, get testing done and spend time on property awaiting results.

The protocols will also require that all persons travelling to Barbados must wear facemasks and there is a facility set up for automatic temperature checks at the airport, gone are the days of the temperature checks with the handheld machine.

All testing done at the Concorde Experience will be free while satellite testing will be at a unit price of USD $150  (BBD $300)

When also asked about concerns around the spikes in cases out of the United States, the Prime Minister said they are monitoring the situation but will not expect flights from the United States by way of New York until July 26.

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