NEWS & OFFERS: New Barbados rules, French Polynesia to open, Spain’s mask policy, 50% bonus on Etihad miles tranfer

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New Barbados rules

Last year I spent a very enjoyable time in Barbados when the protocols allowed you to have a test before departure and then a test the day after arrival with the results back within 24 hours. Since then they changed the protocol to a 5-day quarantine before the second test, effectively making it pointless for a holiday. I was hopeful that things would be more relaxed for those that have been vaccinated. From 8 May, they have relaxed the protocols but they are still enough to put off most tourists (me included and I will generally put up with quite a bit). When you combine it with the green list regulations for the UK it means you would need 4 tests even if fully vaccinated and Barbados is on the green list. 

Here is what they deem fully vaccinated:

It looks like we should qualify for the UK vaccines being approved, this means that if you are fully vaccinated, you need to:

  • Have a test three days prior to departure which is a PCR test performed in clinic by a professional. Home tests not accepted.
  • Have a test the day after you arrive. This could be on arrival or at government-approved accomodation.
  • The test could be a standard or rapid PCR test. Given that some tests were taking days to come back, you’d hope that the rapid version would be available.
  • While you wait for your test results you can’t leave your room at all. Prior to the December outbreak results came back within about 24 hours. Since then it has been much more variable. Tests are also quite pricey in Barbados – around $150 US. 
  • There is also the mention of countries of special concern due to variants which the UK could be. They have not announced which countries that will apply to yet.

If you are not vaccinated you still have to quarantine in your room for 5 days, have a test and then wait for the results.

It’s sad as I think this may put a lot of people off in combination with the cost of the UK tests. I can understand the need to protect the country but I do wonder if a lateral flow test on arrival would be a better idea which is then followed up with a PCR if it is positive.

I am definitely going to move or cancel my trip for somewhere with a single test. 

You can find the full details here. 

 

Spain’s mask policy for the beach

Cala Comte beach, Ibiza

There was a lot of outrage last week at the rather ridiculous policy for Spain which said that you need to wear a mask outdoors in public at all times. This meant that you would have had to wear a mask on the beach and in the sea! That’s even if you were completely alone or more than 1.5 metres away from someone! On that basis alone, it would put most people off going even if it did land on the green list. 

Fortunately, the Spanish Health Minister has seen sense and now said that that you do not need to wear a mask in the sea or when you sunbathe. The official statement said

“When it comes to beaches, rivers, or similar surroundings, the previously mentioned periods can apply only when a person remains in a specific place and respects a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from non-household members. In the case of covered swimming pools or those resting aboard boats, the rest period will apply strictly to the time needs for intervals between activity.”

Masks are also compulsory for those inside or outside bars and restaurants except “for the moments necessary for eating or drinking”.

 

French Polynesia to reopen

Four Seasons Bora Bora

One of the top places on my bucket list is French Polynesia which comprises islands such as Tahiti and Bora Bora. I was originally meant to go last year but decided to postpone it. Now it looks like 2021 may be the year! 

The president of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch, travelled to Paris to meet the French government, including President Emmanuel Macron. During the visit, he confirmed that the islands will reopen to tourism on 1 May 2021. The rate of cases is low with around 20 new cases per week and vaccinations are gathering pace. This could mean it ends up on the UK green list before long. 

There will be a system of testing which sounds like it may have some concessions for vaccinated tourists. Currently you need proof of a negative PCR test from within three days of departure; and a receipt of a health registration form through the country’s Electronic Travel Information System. 

They expect to release more information on the exact protocols shortly. 

 

50% bonus on Etihad miles transfers and validity extended

If you want to keep your Etihad miles current, one way is to transfer your other loyalty program points from any of their participating partners to Etihad Guest before 30 April 2021. Not only will you get 50% more miles but also the validity of your miles will be extended by an additional 18 months.

There transfer partners participating that are most relevant to the UK are ALL-Accor and Marriott. 

You can find the relevant page here. 

1 Comment on "NEWS & OFFERS: New Barbados rules, French Polynesia to open, Spain’s mask policy, 50% bonus on Etihad miles tranfer"

  1. FRANCESCA BARNES | 11 April 2021 at 10:20 am |

    Bucket list fulfilled. We did a 3 week tour of NZ in 2019 ending with a Windstar cruise around French Polynesia taking in some 7 Islands. Breathtakingly fabulous, you couldn’t fail to love.

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