Effective Friday, the government of Barbados will be implementing updated COVID-19 protocols for travel into the island.
The update includes several European and Caribbean countries.
As of September 4, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Suriname will move from the medium risk category to high risk, while Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana will move into the same category from low risk.
The European countries that were formally categorized as medium risk – Spain, Italy, France and Sweden, will be deemed high risk.
On the other hand, there will be downward movement with Australia, Egypt and Sri Lanka moving from the medium risk to low risk category.
The new protocols also include a new category deemed very low risk – persons travelling from these countries and who have not travelled to or transited through any country designated as high, medium or low risk within 21 days prior to travel to Barbados, will not be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to or on arrival.
These countries include Dominica, Grenada, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, New Zealand, Finland, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Meanwhile, acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Kenneth George told Barbados Today that the determination of risk was based on the cumulative seven-day total of new cases per 100 000 of the population, and also took into account the positivity rates.
According to George, anyone coming into Barbados from a country categorised as high or medium risk is being strongly advised to have a valid negative COVID-19 test result from an accredited laboratory within 72 hours prior to arrival.
He also reiterated that all persons entering Barbados from high risk countries who test negative must quarantine at a government facility free of charge, or at a designated hotel or approved villa at their expense, for 14 days.
In addition, there is a new requirement, effective September 14, for persons travelling from medium risk countries to take a mandatory second test after seven days.
This category of traveller, who presents a negative test or tests negative on arrival, is monitored daily for onset of symptoms for seven days.
Anyone who refuses to take the second test at the end of that period will be placed in quarantine for seven days.