Author: Fabian Belgrave
Travellers arriving at the Grantley Adams International Airport should encounter less congestion due to new procedures being implemented there, namely the acceptance of a one-day Rapid Antigen test for entry, and the launch of version two of the online Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) form.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, outlined the new procedures during a COVID-19 update today at Ilaro Court.
She acknowledged that the previous requirement of a negative PCR test result for entry into the island posed difficulty for persons attempting to access the test in North America.
“Visitors coming from our primary source markets have expressed difficulties with being able to access the appropriate tests to enter Barbados. Barbadians, … returning home … have expressed difficulty, in particular coming out of the North American markets, in accessing the PCR tests required for Barbados,” she explained.
Senator Cummins noted that the Rapid Antigen Test was generally accepted as the test of choice by many other international markets, among them the United States and the United Kingdom.
She further explained that the difficulty experienced in identifying testing sites overseas for a PCR test led to the second issue, the congestion at Gates 14 – 16 on arrival in Barbados.
“Persons were found to have an unacceptable test and that resulted in retesting at Grantley Adams International Airport at Gates 14 -16.
By transitioning under the direction of the EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) and the Ministry of Health to accepting Rapid Antigen as is done in countries all around the world, that immediately eases that challenge, and travellers can avoid now incurring the cost in some instances of accessing first of all, a PCR test and in some instances, having to repeat that test on more than one occasion. We’re very happy to be able to afford visitors that ease of entry to Barbados while maintaining the safety at our borders,” the Tourism Minister reported.
To further ease congestion, Senator Cummins said passengers would return to walking from their aircraft via the foot path from Gate 13 to nine through the Arrivals Hall. However, travelers arriving at gates above number 13 would still have to use transportation.
With regard to the updated online [Embarkation/Disembarkation] ED form, the Minister reported: “The new version two is being prepared. I believe that over the course of this weekend that draft is going to be presented to Mr. Abrams, Minister of Home Affairs for review.”