Sunday 29 November, 2020

Health officials not slacking on COVID-19 safety rules for crews

Crew off the British Airways inaugural flight from London Heathrow at the Grantley Adams International Airport on October 17, 2020. (FILE)

Crew off the British Airways inaugural flight from London Heathrow at the Grantley Adams International Airport on October 17, 2020. (FILE)

Flight attendants and pilots flying into Barbados' Grantley Adams International Airport are being subjected to strict COVID-19 protocols for their safety and that of passengers.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George explained the new normal for airline crew to Loop News today.

He said that the Ministry of Health and Wellness "from early o’clock" looked at different international arrangements. He mentioned IATA (International Air Transport Association) which supports aviation with global standards for airline safety, security, efficiency and sustainability.

Dr George said that crew, who are in Barbados for 48 hours or less, are not required to take a PCR test, but have to go "immediately into quarantine".

He said that currently there are three to four hotels specifically for crew members.

Dr George said that crew members on the island for more than 48 hours are tested and once their PCR results return negative then there "are no restrictions". Crew personnel who know ahead of time that they will be in Barbados for more than 48 hours can also be tested prior to their arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport and present their negative PCR result.

Dr George said that it is not feasible to test all crew all the time due to their constant movement, therefore, the 48 hours guideline is being enforced.

"We have done a protocol which has been shared with all airlines," he said while assuring that airlines are "all compliant".

Barbados is currently being serviced by JetBlue, American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, InterCaribbean, British Airlines, Air Canada, Caribbean Airlines and Air Antilles. 

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