a group of chairs and umbrellas on a beach
Virgin's Departure Beach in Barbados

Barbados has been top of the list for many travelers seeking a getaway during the pandemic, and rightfully so. The country has invested heavily in safety measures to protect locals and guests alike, and with world class diving, beaches and welcoming culture, there’s oh so much to love.

But to protect the community and actually simplify entry rules, a few changes came into effect recently, which tighten the rules for many travelers. For a start, everyone must quarantine for 5 days until they test negative.

With some lovely hotels and breezy balconies for the first five days, you might not mind quite as much as you’d think…

a group of chairs and umbrellas on a beach
Virgin’s Departure Beach in Barbados

Barbados Latest Travel Entry Restrictions

Prior to February, 2021, Barbados had a tiered approach to visitors. The lower risk country you came from, the fewer the hoops you had to jump through to enjoy your trip immediately. In an effort geared towards simplicity and safety, that’s changed.

Effective February 3rd, all travelers coming to Barbados must supply a negative covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Previous policy allowed exceptions for travelers from low risk countries, but that’s now gone.

In addition, all visitors will need to book in for 5 days of hotel quarantine, at one of the appointed quarantine hotels at their own expense. Fear not, the hotels are rather nice, and in some cases access to certain outdoor areas may be allowed while you wait.

The idea of 5 days in waiting while on vacation may not be ideal, but it’s a small price to pay for added peace of mind, until the second PCR test confirms a negative covid-19 result and sets you free, allowing a joyous trip. For some, it may be a deal breaker.

a body of water with trees and a beach

Other Changes For Barbados Travel

All visitors must also download BIMSAFE, a new app for contact tracing and other protocols related to covid-19 entry restrictions.

Until February 17th, Barbados also has a mandatory island wide 7PM-6AM curfew in place, which certainly limits things a bit further. It’s unclear whether hotels would be allowed to serve things like dinner after this time, since technically a guest is staying ‘at home’ within the ‘stay at home’ order.

It absolutely means no bar hopping though! Authorities tell GSTP the February 17th end date for the curfew is expected to hold, and unlikely to be extended in the same state.

Getting Covid-19 Travel Tests

Barbados still has partnerships in place in the US and Canada for mobile testing units to administer tests from the comfort of home, making pre-travel requirements easier.

If you’re looking for a Caribbean getaway, Barbados should always be high on the list, and that doesn’t change with the news. Barbados is one of the many countries aiming to entice long stay guests, with digital nomad visa options and other perks. For a long stay, 5 days in a nice hotel in the Caribbean could certainly be worse.

If a few days in paradise was the plan though, you may need to look elsewhere, at least for now. Barbados could quickly join the list of countries which waive quarantine rules for travelers who’ve been vaccinated, and that could change things up for millions of travelers around the globe.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. One thing missed here is the opportunity to quarantine in a registered private villa — it isn’t just hotels that are approved by the gov’t for quarantine. If you book a villa with a pool, you miss te beach but are otherwise at very little inconvenience as there are very good grocery and restaurant delivery services.

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