Good news for Barbados - Active COVID-19 cases drop to zero

As of 11 am on June 26, Barbados has no active COVID-19 cases on the island.

Sharing the news was the Minister of Health and Wellness Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic during this morning's Address to the Nation streamed from Ilaro Court.

Bostic told Barbados:

"We are now on day 35 without any local transmission of COVID-19 and even better news, all persons who were in isolation, have been discharged. So there are no confirmed cases that we are still treating at the isolation facility at Harrison Point.”

Furthermore, "Also important is the fact that all persons who were repatriated on flights from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada have been discharged from quarantine and this is indeed good news," he added.

Barbados' first two COVID-19 cases were recorded on March 16, 2020. Now three months later, Barbados recorded 97 confirmed cases with seven COVID-related deaths and 90 persons recovered.

As of May 27, Barbados had tested 4,758 persons for COVID-19. Over 5,000 persons have been tested in Barbados and as of July 11,2020, 8655 persons have been tested

Airlines will start flying to Barbados again

  • The borders will officially reopen effective July 12, 2020. Resumptions of commercial flights are scheduled to begin as stated below.
  • July 12 – Air Canada
  • July 18 – British Airways
  • July 25 – Jet Blue
  • August 1 – Virgin Atlantic
  • August 5 – American Airlines

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • All travelers must have proof of a negative COVID test withing 72 hours of travel (up to a week for low-risk CARICOM countries).
  • A mandatory 14-day quarantine for all persons entering Barbados. Passengers arriving from countries considered low-risk for COVID-19 cases are allowed to home quarantine.
  • Anyone arriving with a travel history from China, Iran, and South Korea are also subjected to fourteen (14) days quarantine.
  • Citizens and residents of Barbados will be subject to a home-quarantine.
  • The Government of Barbados is conducting thermal screening at airports and seaports.

Barbados's New Visa Lets You Work There Remotely For a Year

If you had the chance to travel to Barbados and work by the beach, would you?

Five months ago, working outside the office, even just temporarily, was a pipe dream for most employees. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Businesses remain shuttered around the globe to enforce social distancing, and working remotely has become the new—and, for some, newly permanent—normal. Once encumbered by long and expensive commutes, employees now find themselves untethered from a traditional workplace, taking Zoom meetings from their living rooms instead. According to Global Workplace Analytics, an estimated 25 to 30 percent of the world’s workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.

But if there’s one takeaway from spending months quarantined at home, it’s that staring at the same four walls can grow old very quickly. More than ever, telecommuters are dreaming of shaking things up and escaping life for a little while. In fact, Barbados is banking on it.

Earlier this month, Barbados' Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced in a speech that the Barbados government is developing a 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp—a special visa for remote workers who want to trade home for island life for up to a year at a time.

The stamp is currently in the final stages of development. While further details are forthcoming, Mottley said in her speech that the visa would “allow people from the United States, Europe, and Latin America to come and do their jobs digitally for a couple of months and then go back home, if they feel they can work better in a more relaxed atmosphere such as next to a beach.” The proposal is a direct response to current COVID-19 travel restrictions, in which lengthy, mandated quarantines restrict short-term travel.

The prospect of working from a beach is more than tempting. Being by the ocean has been proven to boost your mood and your health—both of which can suffer under self-isolation. At the same time, the stamp would also help jump-start the island’s economy by bringing in additional tourism dollars for local businesses. Barbados is among the top 20 countries most dependent on travel and tourism as a source of GDP, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

It’s worth noting that this new opportunity to work remotely has appeal beyond cabin fever. As the Black Lives Matter movement grows across the U.S., Black Americans are increasingly looking to move abroad to escape the institutional racism and discrimination still so persistent in America.

Luckily, interested parties won’t have to wait for long. While the visa is in the final stages of development, the Caribbean island will begin welcoming international travelers back on Sunday, July 12, when air travel to Barbados is expected to recommence. JetBlue and American Airlines are resuming commercial flights from the U.S. on July 25 and August 5, respectively.