Holidays: Simon Calder gives 2021 travel advice
Barbados has seen a spike in coronavirus cases, sparking fears it will imminently be added to England’s quarantine list. The Caribbean island currently has 968 confirmed cases of covid, as stated by John Hopkins University. According to Reuters, Barbados is reporting 39 new infections on average each day.
However, its seven-day infection rate has skyrocketed in recent weeks.
It was at just 3.8 per 100,000 residents before Christmas and is now 96.9.
With Barbados nearly hitting the 100 mark, the UK government could be set to axe it from the travel corridor as it did with the UAE this week.
If the island was added to the quarantine list, it would affect anyone currently in Barbados as well as anyone due to travel there after lockdown.
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Travellers returning to England would have to quarantine for 10 days.
Barbados was one of the first countries to reopen its borders to tourists (it relies on overseas travellers for almost 40 percent of its GDP) which could have sparked the rise in covid cases.
However, Paul Charles, CEO of travel PR consultancy The PC Agency, told The Telegraph he suspected the rise was more likely a “hangover” from Christmas.
The island has very strict entry requirements, particularly for those arriving from the UK.
The current Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice states: “Barbados designates the UK as a high-risk country.
“Travellers from the UK must arrive with a negative PCR test taken by a certified or accredited laboratory within three days of arrival.
“On arrival, you will be required to quarantine at government-approved facilities (a designated holding hotel or approved villa at your own expense, or a government facility free of charge), and undertake a further test five days after the first accepted negative test.
“You will need to stay in your hotel room and may be required to wear an electronic tracking bracelet until you receive the results of your second test.
The Foreign Office continued: “If this second test is negative you will no longer be subject to quarantine. The government aims to return results within 24 to 48 hours. However, at present, return times are estimated at around five days.”
Travellers returning from Barbados to the UK from Thursday, January 21 will have to provide proof of a negative covid test as new strict entry testing rules come into force.
This date also applies to Antigua and St Lucia while all other arrivals must show the negative test from Friday, January 15.
The three Caribbean islands are exempt (for now) due to lack of testing infrastructure.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will announce any travel corridor changes tomorrow.
The list currently features less than 70 destinations as the world shrinks further to the UK.
What’s more, many of the countries on the travel corridor list are not open to UK arrivals.
Still open at the time of writing are Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Dominica, the Maldives, Rwanda, St Lucia, Cuba, Turks and Caicos but all require a negative covid test amid other entry requirements.
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