Coronavirus
BB | Dec 24, 2020

Barbados won’t ban flights from the UK

/ Our Today

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Caribbean island declares surveillance has been stepped up at Grantley Adams International Airport. (Photo: Barry Hanes, Wikimedia Commons)

Barbados has declared that it will not be imposing a ban on flights from the United Kingdom (UK) at this time.

However, the country’s Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic has indicated that Barbados is being vigilant about the new COVID-19 strain, which has caused many countries to impose restrictions on travel to and from the UK.

More than 40 countries have banned UK arrivals because of concerns about the spread of a new variant of coronavirus including Jamaica, Grenada, France, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia and Switzerland.

Flights from the UK are being suspended to territories across the world including Spain, India and Hong Kong. Minister Bostic reports that “the advice from WHO (World Health Organisation)/PAHO (Pan-American Health Organisation) is that we should not restrict flights coming from the UK at this time because what is known of the variant does not suggest we should do that. To be honest, this thing has been around I believe from September and it is not only in the UK, it’s also in Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and other countries.”

Barbadian Health Minister, Jeffery Bostic. (Photo: Pan American Health Organisation)

As such “at this point in time and with the restrictions imposed in the United Kingdom, we do not think we are going to restrict flights from the UK,” Bostic said. Speaking on Tuesday at the Glebe Polyclinic in St George, where representatives from PAHO donated thermometers, printers, scanners and other equipment to some polyclinics, Bostic responded to questions about the direction within which Barbados is taking in regards to banning flights from the UK.

Not going the route of Jamaica and Grenada

He was directly asked if Barbados would go in the direction of other countries that imposed restrictions on UK travel, including Jamaica and Grenada. He indicated that a ban is not necessary at this time but admitted that surveillance at the Grantley Adams International Airport would remain intact, “in fact he said surveillance measures had been increased.”

On Monday, the Jamaican government imposed a ban with immediate effect upon hearing of the discovery of the new COVID 19 strain in the UK. The ban on all flights coming into the island from the UK will be for a period of two weeks, ending January 4, 2021.

Seen at night, the Grantley Adams International Airport saw 2.19 million visits in 2018. (Photo: Ron Maynard Photography)

Passengers on the UK flight, which arrived in the island on Monday, who test negative will be fitted with armbands for monitoring and released to complete their 14 day quarantine at home, while those found to be positive will be isolated in state facilities until recovered.

Over 20 confirmed positive testing yesterday

News came yesterday of the positive testing of over 20 individuals on that flight, who have now been isolated and quarantined. Family members of persons, who arrive on these flights will be able to pick up their relatives after the minimum 48 hour quarantine.

Family members are reminded that they must strictly adhere to the infection prevention and control measures when picking up their relatives, as well as during the mandatory quarantine period as persons may develop symptoms during the 14 quarantine period and therefore transmit the virus to others.

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