All BA’s October routes
If you are thinking of trying to get away before the rest of the world puts the UK on their quarantine list, here are some handy charts of BA’s routes for October.
Barbados puts UK on high risk list
It is only a couple of weeks since we wrote an article about the joys of visiting Barbados, a country who, until now have welcomed the UK subject to the relevant tests. The UK is currently on the medium-risk list for Barbados, but from 1 October we will be moved onto the high-risk list. If you are planning to go to Barbados, you will need to understand exactly what this involves to decide if you still want to proceed.
The official announcement from Visit Barbados said “Effective October 1, 2020, the United Kingdom will be categorized as a High-Risk country in accordance with the country risk assessments conducted by the Barbados Ministry of Health & Wellness. As such, persons travelling from or transiting through the UK will be required to follow the protocols under the High-Risk Category.”
So what does this mean?
It is actually not as bad as I initially thought. Don’t be confused by the old rules which only apply to high-risk countries until 1 October.
It is now mandatory for all persons travelling to Barbados from High and Medium-Risk countries to have a negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter the country. These tests must be taken at an accredited or certified facility laboratory within 72 hours prior to arrival.
Travellers from High-Risk countries with a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be quarantined at a designated holding hotel or Approved Villa at their
own expense, or free of charge at a government facility.
Travellers will be required to retest 4-5 days after the first accepted negative test. If the result of that second test is negative, that person will not be subject to further
quarantine. Travellers will continue to be monitored for 7 days after arrival. The second test is between days 4-5 after the original test date, not the results date or date of arrival. This means you have already done 3 days when you arrive unless you got your test very last minute. Test results in Barbados are usually returned overnight without any challenges. So you are only looking at about 2 days in quarantine in a hotel if you wish (your choice of the approved hotels or villas and you pay). Tests can be done free of charge at any Government health care facility or for a fee at private healthcare facilities. There are also mobile services available to have options.
I have asked for clarification of exactly what you are allowed to do during quarantine as the guidance says “While awaiting the second test, visitors will have restricted movement and remain on the grounds of their hotel, resort or villa.” Now if this means you can sit by the pool but not go to the beach then I can’t see many people having an issue with that, but I will confirm the exact details as soon as I know them.
On a personal note, I had just booked to go to Barbados and have decided to carry on with my trip for the sake of a day or two confined to a decent hotel (there is a choice of approved hotels including the Hilton so you can collect some points in quarantine!). Barbados has been on the bucket list for a while and the fact they are taking extra precautions make me feel safe going there.
“It is our commitment that our visitors, many of whom are like family to us, are able to enjoya reprieve from the challenges in their own countries by being safe in Barbados. At the same time, Barbadians are known for our hospitality so we want to ensure that our citizens welcome all our guests to the island with a high level of confidence because we have put measures in place at the border for all our visitors” said Senator Lisa Cummins, minister of Tourism of the island. “When you get here, testing services are easily accessible, our health care professionals are here to help take great care of you, even if you become unwell, our hotel sector completely transformed their amazing properties to ensure that our guests enjoy their time with us even though there is a public health consideration, our hospitality sector, including restaurants and attractions are rolling out the red carpet because they are just so happy to have our guests back. For the peace of mind that you are safe, Barbados is definitely worth it!”
I should also point out that if you are on the flight with someone that subsequently tests positive on arrival, this has been an issue for one of TLFL’s readers sadly. This means you will need to quarantine for a week in your hotel room without leaving at all! Now that the rules have just changed and you MUST have a negative COVID test before departure or you may be turned away from entry, hopefully this will not happen again. The reader flew on the day the rules changed so I am hoping that BA and Virgin will not be allowing people to fly without the relevant COVID test now that we are well into the new rules.
If you don’t fancy the extra couple of days quarantine, Antigua or St Lucia are the main alternatives. Both require a COVID test but St Lucia requires you to remain within your hotel (or hotels, you can switch resort) for the duration of the holiday unless on an approved tour. So really Barbados is better than St Lucia in terms of freedom of movement.
You can find more information on new protocols from 1 October the official Visit Barbados page.
Worth checking the new schedule if you are inbound to LHR and connecting to another UK airport. Last departure to EDI will be 17.00 and Glasgow 17.15 making it almost impossible to connect if your inbound arrives any time after 15.00. With so few flights, journey times are likely to be longer and knowing their reputation for cancelling regional flights first, going anywhere with BA from outside the London area is going to be a roll of the dice this autumn.
Totally agree Alex. I think any connections are dicey at the moment with constant changes to times and days even!
We are (were?) leaving for Barbados on 13 October staying first at the Waves Hotel for 5 days and then the Sea Breeze for another 5. If the new rules mean we need to stay on the hotel grounds for the first couple of days then it’s not a big deal (they are all inclusive so that probably would have been the plan anyway at least at the beginning). Do we know if we will be able to stay at Waves or will they force us to cancel our booking and stay somewhere else? (After much digging I did find a current list of designated hotels and neither of these are currently on the list but wondering if the list will expand given the likely number of UK tourists who would have booked for Barbados after all the publicity)
As it stands currently you would have to be at one of the designated hotels. I have been speaking to the tourist board so I will ask this question and let you know. I think they need to give a lot more detail if they don’t want people to switch to another Caribbean island!
Thanks for the updated info. How they calculate the 4-5 days (from original test) is interesting
We’re arriving on 27th Oct, and I’ve got our villa arranged for 1st Nov.
Sounds like I should bring this forward to 29 or 30 Oct?
This is a question I need an answer to as well as I need to know how long to book the quarantine hotel for. As soon as I know I will publish the answers!
I notice Gran Canaria is not on BA’s October list. Is this correct?
It looks like this chart only covers the summer schedule up to 25 October. Gran Canaria starts in the winter schedule at the end of October.
Hi Michelle, thanks for the really useful updates.
I notice both Cape Town and Johannesburg are on BA’s map.
Last week information came from SA that UK arrivals (plus US, Italy, Spain and a few other countries) would not be allowed yet (as covered in one of your posts).
The BA website shows flights are bookable from 1st October but do you think this is realistic? If so, the planes will only be able to carry people who have not been in any of the still banned countries, and there may be implications for the flight crew too.
The BA website also provides exit information for people flying from SA but nothing relating to entry information. (https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/incident/coronavirus/entry-requirements)
If that is the case that we would not be allowed, I think there could be some flights for people wanting to come here but it is likely that most of them will be cancelled if the ban on UK entry remains. I have seen nothing official that we will not be allowed in yet. Where did you see that?
This article was published the same day as the President’s address and sent to me by a friend in the travel and tourism industry in South Africa
It is a press publication so not an official announcement, although it is one of the country’s main publications. Let’s see how things are on 1st October.
Also, here’s the Department for Home Affairs visa exemption webpage, showing which countries have had exemption withdrawn. Of course, this may mean there is some kind of visa required, but perhaps it will be best to wait for more announcements
Thanks for the info. Had been searching but not found anything or seen anything in the usual travel publications.
Hi Michele, where can I find the current list of designated hotels to stay in Barbados.
Cobblers Cove Hotel
Coconut Court Hotel
Dover Beach Hotel
Golden Sands Hotel
Hilton Barbados Resort
Sandals Royal Barbados
The Crane Resort
White Sands Beach Condo and Villas
This is a great feed. We are due to go out 26th October and not sure what to do (from Uk)
Upon landing on the Monday : 72hours including time difference (4 hours as the clocks will have gone back uk time) we would need a uk test 9pm Friday but our test centres close at 8pm! Would this hour make a difference or would they allow the 73hours?
Also do we know yet if we are free to use the pool facilities yet? And the cost of the hotels?
The retest states 4-5 days, does this mean we can be retested in the 4th day?
Sorry so many questions. I’m travelling with my 3 children and need to be sure it’s the best thing. I don’t want them to miss this amazing holiday but it could be delayed until next year looking at the state of the uk!
Hi Melissa. No it does have to be no more than 72 hours but there are private clinics that are open 24 hours. If you can’t do that then you would have to do it first thing the next morning. I can’t speak for all hotels but the Crane has a pool that you can use. I’m trying to find out further details of the others tomorrow. The Crane also has a lot of suites thar have a pool starting from around $280 inc transfer and the second test. It is also not 100% clear about how the decide the exact timing of the test but hopefully I will clarify it all tomorrow afternoon in a new article.
Hi Michele l rent a villa in the ground of a consultant all year,We have CCTV will l be allowed to go to my home to quarantine for the 3-4days till my second test,
Hi. Yes potentially. You will need to apply to have the villa approved but if you meet the criteria it should not be a problem. There should be details of who to contact on the visit Barbados site.
Did you ever find out about the retesting and when it can actually be done?
Our villa owner has applied to get it passed for quarantine use, so we are remaining hopeful.
Will you be updating the feed when you travel their yourself? I am very interested regarding airport regulations, retesting and being able to enjoy your holiday in general
Yes. There will be lots of reviews and information. I will post on social media as it happens. A lot depends on who does the retesting and the backlog as you have to get some sort of approval to get released from quarantine. Assuming you had the initial test 3 days before arrival you can get retested the day after you arrive. How long the results take depends on the company. Most are next day. My main advice so far is arrange your retest with a private company if you can afford it. That way you have some control over it.
Upon reading the Barbados government site last night it states now test 3 days before arrival and not the specific 72hrs. It now has a table showing the day you arrive in Barbados and the day you need to have your first test. Would you give me your opinion please,
We arrive at 9pm (with the time difference) on Monday, this table is now showing we can be tested any time Friday? We were unable to get tested unless paying private at 9pm Friday night but can we just get tested Friday day time now?
Hope you have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to your updates
Hi Melissa. Yes it has been updated due to all the issues with times etc. It is no longer 72 hours. Yes you can get tested at any time on the Friday. You need to be tested in a clinic not a home kit and must have a time/date stamp. They need the lab report not just the certificate. Thanks. I will be posting lots of information and pictures as I go!
It would be great to get some experiences of people who have stayed at a quarantine hotel, re access to swimming pools etc. I will be travelling out 15th December and haven’t booked a hotel yet!
I’ll be writing up my own experiences soon!
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