The government of Barbados has announced that the nationwide curfew introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be lifted on Wednesday, July 1. The government also announced the reduction of social distancing to 1m (3ft) and that outdoor and social events will be allowed to have as many as 500 attendees based on capacity. Current curfew restrictions are in place between 22:00 and 05:00 (local time) on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Although travel outside of these hours is permitted, the public is encouraged to wear face masks.
The government also stated that commercial air traffic will resume on July 12. Services operated by Air Canada will be permitted from July 15, followed by British Airways on July 18, JetBlue on July 25, and Virgin Atlantic on August 1. Those arriving in Barbados from outside the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be required to take a test for COVID-19 72 hours prior to their arrival whilst arrivals from within the CARICOM area will need to take a test at least one week prior to arrival.
On Thursday, June 25, authorities extended the current Public Health Emergency until August 31.
As of Sunday, June 28, authorities have confirmed 97 COVID-19 cases in Barbados, with seven associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.