Barbados travel bubble excludes Caribbean neighbours

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

On Saturday (June 19) Barbados announced its travel bubble for the region, however, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, and the Bahamas were excluded from the list.

A travel bubble is an agreement between countries believed to have controlled the spread of COVID-19. They allow travel across otherwise closed borders, without lengthy quarantines or other significant restrictions such as mandatory testing. 

Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Sunday announced a travel bubble for fully vaccinated travelers to Barbados who are also required to produce a negative PCR test upon arrival.

This means that vaccinated travelers from those islands must be tested at the Grantley Adams International Airport and those who have not been inoculated must undergo a mandatory five-day quarantine.

Negative PCR test

For those countries which exist outside of the travel bubble Mottley said:

“They’re subjected to the same protocols that would have existed before, so if they have vaccinated persons, come with a negative PCR and land at our airport, they’ll have to have the second PCR test as all other vaccinated persons do now and then they’d be free to come into the country. If they are unvaccinated, you know the drill, it’s a longer period, five days before they have the PCR test in the quarantine.” 

But in Trinidad and Tobago, Senate Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Amery Browne argued that Trinidadians travelling to Barbados should not face any additional challenges from the travel bubble imposed. His reasoning suggests that the protocols stipulated are not considered a travel bubble in the “strictest interpretation of the word”.

“The government of Barbados has announced that effective June 30, 2021, fully vaccinated persons with a negative PCR test coming from specific countries with a low incidence of COVID-19 can enter their country without any further test on arrival. Passengers from countries that do not currently meet their criteria, such as Trinidad and Tobago, would be subject to the existing protocols,” he explained.

Browne added that under those measures both travelers whether vaccinated or otherwise must present a negative PCR test taken three days prior to arrival in Barbados.

“The vaccinated traveler from T&T is administered a second PCR test on arrival in Barbados. If the result is negative, the passenger may then leave the designated quarantine location. That result is normally obtained within 24 hours. Accordingly, there is no additional challenge anticipated for travelers from T&T to Barbados under the announced regime,” he said.

Despite the exclusion from Barbados’ travel bubble Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced recently that borders are set to reopen for the twin-island republic in mid-July.