UPDATE: Barbados changes for UK from 1 October – what it actually means

Hilton Barbados

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I previously shared the new rules for Barbados which at first sound aa bit daunting. I am due to go this month and have decided after all my research that I will still be going. If you chose your quarantine hotel or villa wisely it won’t impact your holiday too much!
Here is what you need to know:


First test

You need to have a test 72 hours before ARRIVAL and it must not be a home test kit. Relevant accrediting bodies and standards include: ISO:15189, CAP, UKAS or the equivalent. Test results must be submitted electronically at www.travelform.gov.bb and travellers are required to present a copy of test results bearing their name on arrival. You must also have the results at check-in or you will be denied boarding on both BA and Virgin Atlantic. Does do apply to under 5 years old except with symptoms or member of party test positive. 

For the BA flights this is a pain as it arrives at 11.15pm UK time which means in order to get the maximum time before departure you would need to have it done at 11.15pm which does not seem possible for an in-clinic test. However, I have been informed that there is sometimes some leniency if you email the Barbados Chief Medical Officer Offuce – [email protected] to double-check if you can have it slightly earlier on the 3rd day before you arrive.

Second test

There are two choices – you can have a free test at a Barbados Government clinic or pay to have one. You will need to book when you arrive. The Crane offers a package that includes your second test. Second tests vary from $50 to several hundred US$. There are also a number of private companies that offer mobile or clinic tests. Quarantine hotels should be able to advise on this. 

The second test is 4-5 days from the date of the original test, so on day 2 or 3 of your trip. So if you got it 72 hours before you can have the 2nd test the day after you arrive and should get the results the following day. So at worst you would be in quarantine for 3 nights. 

Results usually come back overnight, and within 24 hours at the longest, again depending on the provider. If you stay in a villa, the rental companies can often arrange a test in the villa that can be back even quicker on the same day if you have it in the morning but it will cost a lot more. 

You will continue to be monitored for 7 days after arrival which just means having to send your temperature in. 



During quarantine, you can stay in an approved villa or hotel at your own expense or the government quarantine free. If you are in a hotel you are not necessarily confined to your room. It depends on the hotel and how big it is. Sandals and The Crane both allow you to use one of their pools. Most will expect you to have room service.


Hemingway House, Mullins, St. Peter, Barbados

In our view A beautiful new plantation-style home in a wonderful beachfront location. A very special holiday home. Hemingway House is a plantation style home, tucked away between the serenity of Gibbs Beach and the highly popular Mullins Beach.

The villas that are already approved are on this list. You do not need to book through the companies on the list. Naturally, all villa rental companies are trying to get all their villas approved. If the one you want is not approved, ask your rental company to see if they can get it approved. The main requirement is 24-hour security or security cameras that are monitored. You are not allowed to leave the villa grounds until the negative results. 

I discussed villa rentals with Hammertons which has a UK office and many of the approved villas (see above example). They are able to help with getting food delivered with their concierge service during your stay including a welcome pack. Plus some supermarkets and restaurants also deliver. Most villas require a 5-night minimum.


Here is the official list:

  • Cobblers Cove Hotel
  • Coconut Court Hotel – guests will be in Ocean View Rooms during their confinement to their room. Guests can use their own mobile device to read our menus from a QR code reader. All meals and drinks will be delivered to the door of your guest room and any additional items requested including toiletries, and grocery items can also be delivered to you by a member of their team.
  • Courtyard Marriott
  • Dover Beach Hotel
  • Golden Sands Hotel
  • Hilton Barbados Resort
  • Meridian Inn
  • Palm Garden Hotel
  • Pirate’s Inn
  • Sandals Royal Barbados – allowing access to some parts of resort with masks and access to a pool
  • South Gap Hotel
  • Sunbay Hotel – must stay in room and only breakfast available on site. Can arrange private testing.
  • The Crane Resort – can book any room with free 2nd COVID test. You have a wrist band which means you can only access certain areas of the resort. You are allowed to get takeout from the cafe and restaurants and use one of the pools. The Crane have a number of rooms with a private pool. The one shown above is around £300 + tax per night for a 2 bedroom pool suite.
  • White Sands Beach Condo and Villas – can pre-stock fridge with supplies for $15 fee. Some rooms have a small private pool on terrace.
  • Worthing Court
Many of the other hotels are now trying to get approved to, so if your holiday is a while off, I would wait and see if your hotel gets added. 
All the hotels can arrange testing for you with the government free tests either in the hotel or will transport you to the nearest test centre. Sunbay and The Crane have their own testing centres. 

BA and Virgin holidays

I would expect both BA and Virgin to allow you to change hotels for no fee for the quarantine period. If you wish to change or cancel:

For British Airways Holidays, if customers have booked a holiday to Barbados departing in the next three weeks and no longer wish to travel, they can choose a refund or a voucher for future travel. BA will continue to monitor the situation and update their policy accordingly.

Virgin had not come back to comment at the time of publishing but their standard flexible policy is:

customers with tickets issued:Originally due to travel:Can rebook betweenPotential differences in fare
On any date01 Mar 2020 – 30 Nov 2020Before 09 Dec 2020 

And between 11 Jan 2021 – 31 Mar 2021

Any potential differences in fare will be waived if you choose to travel on the same route and in the same cabin.

If you choose to change your origin or destination airports, potential differences in fare may apply (but change fees will be waived)

On any date01 Mar 2020 – 30 Nov 202010 Dec 2020 – 10 Jan 2021

And between 01 Apr 2021 – 30 Sep 2022

Potential differences in fare may apply.
Between 01 Mar 2020 – 31 Oct 202001 Dec 2020 – 30 Apr 202112 Jun 2020 – 30 Sep 2022Potential differences in fare may apply.
You must request the change at least 21 days in advance.