UPDATE: Barbados no longer requiring post-arrival COVID-19 test/quarantine for vaccinated travellers
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect new COVID-19 entry protocols
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
COVID-19 entry requirements
To enter Barbados, all visitors must arrive with the results of a negative PCR test taken within three days of arrival to Barbados. No other test type, such as a rapid antigen test, will be accepted.
Although a quarantine was previously required when the country reopened its borders to international visitors in July 2020, fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to isolate upon arrival as of Oct. 24, 2021, per an announcement by the Barbados Tourism Ministry on Oct. 21. Do note that vaccinated travellers may be selected at random to take a rapid antigen test at Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI), free of charge.
You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The following vaccines are currently being accepted:
- Johnson & Jonhson
- Sputnik V
Unvaccinated travellers, on the other hand, are subject to much stricter entry requirements, including the same pre-arrival test, a five-day quarantine and a second COVID-19 test following quarantine. Specifically, unvaccinated travellers wishing to visit Barbados must:
- Present negative results of a PCR test within three days of arrival; and
- Quarantine for a period of five days at a pre-approved accommodation; and
- Take a mandatory second PCR test at one of the approved labs or testing hotels across the island at the traveller’s cost; and
- Continue to quarantine until receipt of negative test results.
Unvaccinated travellers under the age of 18 are allowed to enter the country if accompanied by vaccinated parents/guardians and travellers under five will not be subject to testing requirements.
Additionally, travellers must download the BIMSafe App to upload health information as well as complete an online form at least 24 hours prior to arrival.
Finally, all incoming passengers are to depart BGI using specific transportation that has been approved by the Barbados government. Additional guidance on COVID-19 protocols can be found via Visit Barbados.
How to get to Barbados
Major U.S. and international carriers alike have resumed travel to the island’s main airport (BGI), including British Airways, American Airlines, Jet Blue, United and Air Canada.
For example, you could fly BA from London Heathrow (LHR) to BGI the second week of December for less than £507.97 roundtrip in Basic Economy.
You could upgrade to Premium Economy, for less than $100 and board earlier, choose your seat and have the flexibility of changing your flight should your travel plans change.
That same itinerary in miles would be 65,000 Avios miles plus £150 in taxes and fees in economy.
If you wanted to upgrade to business class for 2 free checked bags, a larger seat and priority boarding, that would cost you £2,658.97 for a regular priced fare.
Where to stay in Barbados
There are not a ton of points properties in Barbados so you might be looking at paying cash. However, there are some point properties, including the Hilton Barbados Resort, the Radisson Aquatica Resort and the Courtyard Bridgetown. There are also several new hotels in Barbados under the Marriott umbrella after a 2019 acquisition as well.
In conducting a test search for the same December dates, I found rates for Dec. 6-13 at the Hilton Barbados Resort for as low as $209 (£151) a night or 65,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
Similarly, I found rates at the Courtyard as low as $160 (£116) a night in December or you could use 170,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
Regular prices at the Radisson for a King room were the most expensive among the three at $221 (£160) or 67,500 Radisson Rewards points for the seven-night stay in December; however, their current flash sale could save you up to 25%.
While in Barbados
“Travelers should visit Barbados not only to support the return of tourism and help boost the island’s economy but to create memorable moments by participating in exhilarating activities that the island offers. From wildly exciting activities for the lionhearted to peaceful and relaxing days in a tropical paradise, Barbados has it all!” Barbados tourism said back in July 2020 when we first wrote about the island reopening. “Even though COVID-19 has caused massive travel disruption across the Caribbean, the island’s warm waters, beautiful landscapes, and friendly residents await travellers in need of a getaway from the confinement of their homes, or those looking to work remotely with pearlescent white beaches as their backdrop. Regardless of the reason, Barbados can’t wait to welcome travellers back!”
As of Oct. 15, Barbados has recorded less than 14,000 cases of COVID-19 and under 125 deaths since March 2020, according to data from the World Health Organization, which notes that nearly half of the country’s residents are fully vaccinated.
Barbados maintains strong COVID-19 protocols and expects tourists to adhere to them as well, including a daily curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., mandatory mask-wearing in public spaces and social distancing.
Additional reporting by Caroline Tanner
Featured image by Gagliardi Giovanni/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!