Barbados tourists and returning nationals who have been left waiting for their COVID-19 test results for more than 72 hours, will have the cost of their hotel room paid by the government.
The announcement was made by Senator Lisa Cummins during a press conference on Saturday.
“I wish to announce that if your results are outstanding beyond 72 hours, the Government of Barbados will cover the cost of your hotel room, until you are able to get those test results. We will cover those costs, and for those who feel inclined, and I know most of you want to be able to come back because most of you did not come here to stay in your hotel room … we want to offer you an opportunity to come back,” she said.
Cummins said that due to the spike in COVID cases, many visitors have been left waiting for their results for several days. Some visitors have had to wait up to a week for their results. The government had initially promised tourists that they would receive their results within 24 hours.
The senator issued an apology on behalf of Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the Ministry of Tourism. She said a 24-hour call centre would be in operation to deal with visitor concerns.
“We want to invite you to make contact with us again at that call center [246-628-4150], and we will be welcoming you back to Barbados. We will be offering you a return trip to Barbados again once this is all over,” she revealed.
Following the announcement, residents of Barbados launched an online petition to protest the decision. The NotMyDars petition is advocating for frontline workers to be prioritized and receive increased wages instead of footing the hotel bills for visitors.