Having seen 24 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 48 hours, Barbados has updated its travel protocols as well as the number of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states within the pre-determined travel bubble.
The local Ministry of Health and Wellness, in a statement on Monday (August 3), noted that only CARICOM nationals from St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and Grenada would be allowed to enter Barbados without needing to do a COVID-19 PCR test prior to or on arrival to the island.
An online immigration/customs form would still need to be completed and submitted 24 hours prior to travel.
Persons visiting from the travel bubble must, however, undergo a health screening at the airport and wear a face mask at all times.
In mid-July, Barbados’ travel bubble was much larger and once included: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Anguilla, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Barthélemy, St Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos.
The updated travel protocols, published on the official VisitBarbados.org website, maintains a risk management strata, listing potential arrivals from countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic as high-, medium- and low-risk.
Among the listed high-risk countries, all visitors to Barbados will be required to submit a negative PCR test upon arrival, the results of which will be screened by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. After an initial health screening at the airport, these persons must quarantine for a 14-day period. They also have the option of taking a second PCR test between five and seven days after the first was accepted. Countries within the distinction include: United States, Brazil, India, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, South Africa, Philippines, and Russia.
Medium-risk countries to Barbados were listed as follows: Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Sweden, Australia, Egypt, Ghana, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
The so designated low-risk arrivals include Uruguay, Cuba, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Guyana, and fellow CARICOM States, with the exception of those previously listed as medium-risk and countries named in the travel bubble.
Barbados has confirmed 132 cases of COVID-19, seven patients have died from coronavirus-related complications and 98 recoveries have been recorded.
The island has not seen any additional increase in the coronavirus caseload after the latest round of test results on Monday.