Starting today, Oct. 24, fully vaccinated travelers heading to Barbados with a negative Covid-19 PCR test will no longer need to take a second PCR test or undergo quarantine upon arrival, announced the government.
“Travelers meeting these requirements will therefore be allowed to leave the port-of-entry with no restrictions,” said Minister of Health Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic.
Nevertheless, the minister emphasized that the Chief Medical Officer will retain the right to demand second COVID-19 testing of any visitor and quarantine them if necessary as a prophylactic measure to combat the coronavirus.
The new policy does not cover everyone though. Unvaccinated travelers must still present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within the three days prior to arrival in Barbados.
In addition, they must quarantine at a government-approved facility for no less than 5 days.
Geoffrey Roach, chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), believes that scrapping the second test and the quarantine could help boost bookings amidst the spate of cancellations.
“Potentially it should result in some improvement because a lot of persons were concerned about the [number of tests] that were required, when we know [that] in many other markets that testing is not required,” Roach told Barbados TODAY on Thursday.
Roach also commented on the government’s recent decision to establish “safe zones” in certain workplaces where only fully vaccinated personnel or those who are subjected to periodic testing would be permitted to work together.
“We are looking forward to seeing what the guidelines are going to be like for the safe zones and see how far along the road that would take us,” he said.
But not everyone is celebrating the news. The medical community has expressed the decision of scrapping the most relevant entry requirements caught them by surprise.
This because they have been insisting on stronger COVID-19 regulations as a result of the unprecedented spread of the virus and consequential deaths in the country.
On Thursday, daily COVID-19 cases reached a new record high of 427 cases. As of today, the country has almost 4000 people in home isolation as the positivity rate has climbed to 16.7.
Thus far, only 44.2 percent of the total eligible population has been fully vaccinated.