British holidaymakers heading for Barbados must get there by midnight on 30 September or face a spell in self-isolation, the island’s tourism ministry has said.
Soaring UK coronavirus infection rates mean that visitors touching down on the Caribbean island from Britain from 1 October 2020 face a series of challenges – including quarantine.
The Barbados Ministry of Tourism said: “The United Kingdom will be categorised as a high-risk country in accordance with the country risk assessments.
“As such, persons travelling from or transiting through the UK will be required to follow the protocols under the high-risk category.” The UK has joined the same category as Brazil, France, Spain and the US.
The first hurdle is to have a negative Covid-19 test result from an “accredited lab” within 72 hours of arrival.
On touchdown at Grantley Adams airport in Barbados, officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness will board the plane to check test results before passengers are allowed off.
Arrivals from the UK “will be quarantined at a designated holding hotel or approved villa at their own expense, or free of charge at a government facility”.
The authorities say that if the villa option is chosen, “There must be 24-hour manned security or security cameras monitored by a security firm in Barbados capable of ensuring that quarantine is not violated”.
Four or five days after “the first accepted negative test result,” which could be as little as two days after arrival, travellers will be tested again – free of charge.
Unlike the UK government, the Barbados believe the “quarantine and test” strategy is effective.
“If the result of that second test is negative, that person will not be subject to further quarantine.”
However, travellers will be monitored for seven days after arrival, which may include “interviews and assessments with public health professionals”.
Stopping en route in, say, St Lucia along the way will not be sufficient if the visitor has been in the UK in the past three weeks.
“A traveller’s risk category will be determined by the highest risk level associated with any country that they have travelled to or transited through within 21 days prior to travel to Barbados,” the island’s government says.
Transit passengers changing planes in Barbados to reach smaller islands or Guyana in South America must have a negative test certificate and undergo a health assessment – “which may include a temperature check and a brief interview by port health officials,” according to the island’s government.
British Airways is offering flights from Gatwick to Barbados for just £386 return on many dates in October.