Let’s be honest. We all miss it. The sun-splashed days, the sound of waves crashing by the shore, wind combing through your hair, waving palm trees and just about everything else that makes the Caribbean a siren call to travellers from across the world! When you think of it, the Caribbean somehow fuels your wanderlust even more than it did before.
As we all know, after what feels like an eternity, the worst seems to have passed (kind of). After months of severe quarantine, some Caribbean islands are once again looking towards the idea of welcoming travellers with arms wide open (well, that might be a stretch given how everyone’s scared of human contact, but you get the idea.)
Suggested Read: For a Caribbean Island Getaway; Travel to the Bahamas
Here’s the latest island to open its doors to Brits: Barbados!
Did you know? Up to 40% of the Caribbean’s tourism came from UK’s population.
Understandably acclaimed for its pristine beaches, Barbados opened its borders on July 12, 2020. Commercial flights are scheduled to resume from the following dates.
- July 12 – Air Canada (Thursdays and Sundays)
- July 18 – British Airways
- July 25 – Jet Blue
- August 1 – Virgin Atlantic
- August 5 – American Airlines
Suggested Read: The Caribbean Island: The perfect beach holiday
Now, for those of you asking why Barbados? Here’s what you should know.
In addition to the heavily-covered beaches of the island, you’ll also find yourself exploring a UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital. It’s a place where laughter-filled street parties and (a lot of) rum take hold of the reigns after sundown, and it’s a place that somehow manages to captivate & make you forget entertaining old wounds (ugh, that’s dark).
Plus, for anyone apprehensive about visiting in July or the upcoming months because the traditionally suggested months to visit end with mid-April; just know that Barbados has incredibly consistent weather. Hurricanes are a no show & rainfall lasts barely long enough for it to even count as rain, locals call it “liquid sunshine.” So, don’t shelve the thought of visiting Barbados just yet. You could visit almost anytime you want (just don’t forget the essentials A.K.A your face masks!)
Did you know? Barbados has a 1% crime rate! Locals are admired for being some of the most helpful people you will ever meet.
Barbados has categorised all arriving tourists into two different groups based on the country of their departure, high-risk and low-risk.
High-risk countries are classified as those with more than 10,000 new cases in the last seven days and are in the ‘community transmission’ category.
Low-risk countries are defined as countries with less than 100 new cases in the seven days that lead up to the traveller’s departure date, and not in the ‘community transmission’ category.
Travellers from high-risk countries will be monitored regularly and may be approached for a second COVID-19 PCR test at day 7. If this is not done, then the person may be monitored for 14 days. However, if the second test is negative, there will be no monitoring involved. Meanwhile, travellers from moderate risk countries will be evaluated for 7 days.
Some other things to keep in mind: regardless of the country they are departing from, all travellers must undergo a health assessment and be in perfect health to be allowed entry into the island. Anybody who declines being tested or presents a negative test result will not be permitted to enter Barbados. Travellers who are checked at the airport will be offered a choice, they could either await their results at a government accommodation or a designated hotel of their choice at their own expense, keeping in mind that test results will be available within 24 hours.
Did you know? People pronounce “Caribbean” differently — and even the pros don’t agree on what the correct pronunciation is!
Still full of questions? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
1. Do I have to enter Barbados with proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result?
Travellers are heavily advised to take a COVID-19 PCR test result no more than 72 hours before travel for it to be valid. This will act as proof when the traveller visits the destination and will allow you to be considered for process fast-tracking upon arrival. It is also imperative to keep in mind that the testing and pretesting requirements strongly rely on the risk category of the country a traveller is flying from!
If you’re travelling from a medium or high-risk country & do not have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result before your trip to Barbados, then you will be asked to take a test on arrival.
2. Is there an age restriction for testing?
Yes, children under 5 years of age & under are excluded from the testing protocols that everyone else must go through!
3. What test is classified “valid”?
Only the COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited or certified facility/laboratory will be accepted. Relevant accrediting bodies and standards include ISO:15189, CAP, UKAS or equivalent.
4. Can I leave my accommodation before receiving my test results?
Travellers must remain in the designated accommodation at all costs. That is until they receive their results. Once the test is revealed to be negative, guests will be able to enjoy their holiday as they please.
5. What happens if my test result is positive?
If your test is positive, then you will be transported to a separate accommodation for isolation and treatment; you’ll be able to stay here until you’ve fully recovered. Once you are all good to go, you can choose to resume your holiday as planned or return home.
6. If a passenger tests positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Barbados, can they simply return to their country of origin rather than go into isolation in Barbados?
Unfortunately, this is not an option. If you are tested positive, then you will be transported to a different facility for isolation and treatment. Once you recover, you will be able to swiftly return home if that is what you want!
7. What are the protocols in place for in-transit passengers who overnight in Barbados?
Unless you’re a visitor from the “travel bubble,” in-transit passengers without evidence of a reliable negative test will be tested in Barbados. Should they not have a negative result, they will either not be permitted to leave the airport or will be quarantined until departure or receipt of a negative test result.
- High-risk countries -These include the USA, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and India.
- Medium-risk countries – Include UK, Canada, Argentina, Ecuador, Spain, Portugal, Italy, South Korea and the Dominican Republic.
- Low-risk countries – These countries include those in CARICOM as well as New Zealand, Australia, China, Norway and Iceland.
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about visiting Barbados right now. If you don’t feel too comfortable travelling right now, then make sure to check out all of the best dates in 2021 on our next article.
Given the extensive protocols being erected to secure everyone’s safety, it is no doubt that the government is not taking chances with the pandemic’s threat. However, does this mean Brits can’t take a holiday to Barbados? No, of course not. There’s absolutely no need to look away from the idea of a Caribbean holiday!