Barbados: Shorter Quarantine For Visitors With COVID-19 Vaccine

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Come next month new protocols will be in place for vaccinated visitors to Barbados, including a shorter quarantine.

However, as the country prepares to welcome a larger number of tourists, a special committee has been established to monitor those protocols and to ensure security at quarantine facilities is up to scratch.

Revealing that the new protocols would take effect from May 8, Prime Minister Mia Mottley explained that Barbados could no longer afford to keep the tourism sector partially closed as it accounted for 45 per cent of all economic activity.

She said as a result, vaccinated persons would only be made to quarantine pending the results of one PCR rest.

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Mottley said a vaccinated person was defined as someone who in a two-dose regime had received both doses plus 14 days, or a one-dose regime plus 14 days.

According to the Prime Minister, once that person returned a negative PCR test they would be allowed to leave the quarantine facility.

Currently, all visitors to the island as well as returning Barbadians are required to quarantine for seven days on arrival to Barbados.

During a press conference at Ilaro Court earlier this evening, Mottley reinforced that the chances of a vaccinated person being infected by COVID-19 were miniscule.

“As a result, they will be permitted to come into Barbados with a different set of protocols from those persons who are unvaccinated. In essence, it still requires that even though you are vaccinated that you come to the island with a PCR test that is negative within the last 72 hours and that upon arrival in the country or the morning after that you will do a PCR test, whether it is a rapid test or a classic PCR test and that you will have limited movement within the hotel if you are staying at a hotel or a Government facility if you are staying at a Government facility.

“We are trying to develop protocols that will meet the risk that the country will face from those persons who are vaccinated,” Mottley maintained.

She said the protocols would continue to be reviewed to ensure they were functioning well.

And while visitors to the island earlier this year were easily able to break protocols, the Prime Minister said authorities would not be making that mistake again.

She said a Monitoring Committee would be tasked with ensuring that everything was in place and working effectively.

“We all know that we take risks in life every day but in taking risks we try to be safe and the country therefore must be no different with respect to ensuring that safety remains our primary concern even as we open back up to the world,” Mottley said.

“We feel, therefore, that it was important for us to establish a Tripartite Monitoring Committee, which over the course of the next four weeks will work with the hotel sector, with the tourism attractions, with the stakeholders like the taxi drivers, watersports operators, beach vendors, to make sure that our protocols are as tight as they can be and to make sure that the framework for monitoring is also as tight as they need to be, recognizing that even though the risk is miniscule that we are not, and should not be allowed to drop our guard.”

In explaining the decision-making process, Mottley said Government had consulted with several stakeholders including the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), the University of the West Indies (UWI), hotel owners and workers, representatives of tour attractions, taxi operators, watersports operators and members of the union.

Headline stock photo courtesy Erik Mclean

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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