Travellers coming to the island will be required to declare the results of a COVID-19 test, at least 24 hours before arriving at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA).
They will be required to submit this information, and more, on the online embarkation/disembarkation card which Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson indicated is designed to keep Barbadians and visitors to the country safe, in the COVID-19 environment.
Travellers will also be required to submit their passport biography page on the form.
“We are strongly recommending that travellers to Barbados do a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving here, and the results of that test as well would be digitally submitted to the authorities. We are also asking you to walk with the physical results of that test as well.
Visitors submitting the information will be sent two receipts which will be for Immigration and Customs on arrival and can be provided to the officials using a mobile phone.
When asked how authorities will ensure travellers COVID-19 test results are authentic, Minister Hinkson said appropriate measures are being put in place. Government also reserved the right to have persons retake the test when they arrive.
The Minister said it is necessary for authorities, including the immigration and customs department to be able to review the information of persons coming to the island before they arrive.
Hinkson explained that those who have not filled out the form online before leaving their respective destinations, will be able to utilize Automated Passport Control Kiosks stationed at GAIA, under the guidance of facilitation officers.
“I must also add of course that if you haven’t taken the COVID-19 test before you come, and obviously brought the results of that test showing a negative test result, you will be required to have a test done here. We have that protocol and policy in place that anyone who does not bring with them a negative COVID-19 test either on their mobile phone or the physical test results will be required to do it here.
“It can be done at the airport without cost, or if you opt to go to a designated hotel, you would have to pay for that there. And you will not be allowed to go into general circulation or to move in Barbados until the results of the test are returned showing that you are negative.
“If you are at the airport, you will have to remain there until the results of that test come back and then you are free to go. Depending on which country you are coming from, you will still be monitored for the next seven days, the health authorities will continue to be in contact with you to see how you are doing,” he said.
He added that the ED card was developed before travel restrictions to and from Barbados came into effect in March, but was however modified to accommodate the ongoing global health pandemic in order to keep the Barbadian public safe.
Meanwhile, the Home Affairs Minister said that with Barbados expected to welcome its first commercial flight from Canada on Sunday, the public has nothing to fear considering that authorities are efficiently ensuring that the highest protocol standards are maintained.
The form is part of Government’s Public Sector Modernization Programme, which will see digital technology replacing existing manual processes in several agencies and departments. [email protected]
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