Barbados condemns US travel advisory warning its citizens not to travel to the island

Barbados’s government is slamming the United States’ decision to warn Americans against travelling to the island as it is now a “Level 4” COVID-19 risk nation as baseless.

A statement issued by Barbados’s foreign ministry said the US has no evidence to support moving Barbados to a level four.

“Barbados condemns any travel advisory which, absent of publicly verifiable data, advocates for the prohibition of travel to Barbados on the suggestion that such is inherently dangerous for international travellers,” the statement said.

It continued; “While cognisant of the Department of State’s consular responsibility to American citizens and residents overseas, Barbados does not accept that its national conditions merit the assignment of a Level-4 advisory customarily reserved for states in the midst of destabilizing conflict or in which American travellers have been targeted for harm.”

CDC’s assessments

However, the US stated in its travel advisory that the update did not imply a reassessment of the current health situation in a given country. But it reflected an adjustment in the department’s travel advisory system to give more weight to the CDC’s existing assessments.

St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Vincent and the Grenadines were also given level-four warnings.

But Barbados’s government believes the strides it has made against the coronavirus pandemic is evidence enough that it should not be apart of this list.

It pointed out that among other things, the country has acheived a consistent decline in the number of new infections and deaths due to COVID-19; adequate hospital beds and treatment facilities for COVID patients, with treatment provided free at the point of delivery for all patients without regard to nationality, while also continuing to vaccinate at population levels well above several countries, with 70,000 or over one-third of its adult population receiving at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Barbados believes that such data compares favourably to the realities in other major tourist destinations and regrets that such nuances can never be captured under a blanket Level 4 advisory.

At the same time, Barbados notes that some countries have retained a Level-3 travel advisory from the Department of State, while maintaining a Level-4 CDC advisory as at April 20, 2020. Such disparities only strengthen the Government of Barbados’ call for a dispassionate presentation of the facts concerning the public health situation in each country.”