Some 200 Barbadian nationals started a 14-day mandatory quarantine this evening immediately after arriving home from the United Kingdom where they were stuck for weeks due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
The British government’s chartered flight bound for Barbados to repatriate its nationals who are here, brought the Barbadians and was allowed in on humanitarian grounds.
The Barbadian citizens, including the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation’s television host Shane Sealy, touched down at Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) just after 3 p.m. and were whisked away in a convoy of six state-owned Transport Board buses to the nearby Paragon facility to be tested for the virus and quarantined.
Sealy reported that Vincentians and St Lucians who were also on the flight, were reconnected to go onto their destinations.
But the Bajans were taken to the departure lounge and not the usual arrivals hall to be briefed by authorities regarding their next steps.
Their luggage was also brought to the military base at Paragon by Barbados Defence Force (BDF) trucks.
COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter told Barbados TODAY that the nationals were given the option to be quarantined at a Government facility or at one of the hotels designated for that purpose.
Reporting from inside the Paragon facility, Sealy said that most of the people opted to remain there. Those who opted to go to a hotel must however foot their own bill.
“Anyone who is desirous of being quarantined at their own expense at a hotel – they would be able to be quarantined by that means or quarantined at a Government facility which is at the moment, Paragon Base or the…District Hospital, that is where the mandatory quarantine will take place,” Minister of Health and Wellness Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic stated this evening. While the UK government is responsible for the flights to take its citizens home, the Barbados High Commission in London and the Barbados authorities have been able to get access to those flights en route to Barbados so Barbadians wanting to come home could do so.
The Barbadians wanting to make the flight from London to Bridgetown had to seek permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they received the greenlight on humanitarian grounds. [email protected]
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.