Frontline workers at the Grantley Adams International Airport are yet to have their say on the protocols to protect them as the Government moves full steam ahead with the July 12 re-opening of the border to commercial flights, according to President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall.
Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic has also promised that a more specific list of protocols would soon be rolled out to visitors, who will neither be tested on arrival nor placed in quarantine .
McDowall told Barbados TODAY that while the NUPW has agreed with the Government’s re-opening “in principle”, the concerns of customs and immigration officials still need to be scrutinized and hopefully presented to the social partnership before the borders re-open.
“In principle, we have discussed what the protocols should be for the re-opening of the country, but then there are separate protocols that have to be implemented for persons on the frontline, and we are discussing those protocols now. We have agreed in principle that the country should be re-opened and we agreed with how it should be opened technically,” the union president told Barbados TODAY.
“We also have to understand specifically how these protocols are to be implemented and that is where the discussion needs to be with these frontline workers, so that they can tell us what their concerns are,” he added.
A meeting of immigration and customs officers was held yesterday at the airport. This will be followed by a series of consultations. The outcome of those talks is still unclear.
The decision to re-open to commercial flights has been criticised by some members of the medical fraternity and others in political circles who argue that visitors from high risk destinations ought to be tested on arrival and quarantined.
Currently, visitors will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test that was taken 72 hours before arrival.
When contacted on Monday, Minister Bostic said that an online platform is still being set up to allow visitors to upload their test results in preparation for the first flight on July 12.
“There is no change to that policy at this time, and in fact, we will be issuing the full set of protocols. I believe that the Prime Minister would probably address it before the 12th,” Bostic said today.
The most recent positive Covid-19 test was recorded from a passenger on a JetBlue flight which arrived from the US last Saturday.
Each of the 115 passengers on that repatriation flight was required to be tested and quarantined. [email protected]
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.