Barbados provides COVID-19 tests for outbound travellers

Barbados provides COVID-19 tests for outbound travellers

Thursday, January 21, 2021

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Barbados, says that it is now providing COVID-19 testing for outbound travellers.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Lisa Cummins, said that 145 outbound travellers had been tested at the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory, in order to receive their certification for travel.

“They have been, since Tuesday this week… persons who have been able to come to the Best-dos Santos Lab to benefit from a combination of PCR tests for outbound travellers who are moving out to Canada … [and] to the United Kingdom; they have been able to benefit from antigen testing specifically.”

The minister noted that the ministry had been working with its airline industry partners, specifically British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, to communicate to outbound travellers to the United Kingdom the process of how to acquire the test.

Senator Cummins stated: “There are also additional arrangements being put in place to facilitate those persons who will continue travelling throughout the course of the coming week. We will have an additional facility stood up during the course of this week, and we will make an announcement on that,” she disclosed, regarding future testing for outbound travellers.

With respect to travellers to Caribbean destinations and Canada, the Minister urged those travellers to call the Tourism hotline — “so that arrangements can be made for you in time to fly out with a negative PCR test result and your required certification”.

Cummins apologised for the recent challenges with regards to testing and the return of test results, and stressed that Government was working through those issues.

Meanwhile, the international Blockchain company, OneLedger, which focuses on enterprise solutions, has launched its International Health Passport to combat the global pandemic, COVID-19.

President George Connolly said the passport has been in testing over the past four months in Canada and provides holders with a health passport with secured health information accessible from their cell phone.

“The OneLedger International Health Passport provides a secure and verifiable system that can authenticate the entire immunisation health records of travellers moving across borders,” Connolly said.

When a tourist to Barbados wants to travel from Canada or another country to the island they would first go to a registered health facility and obtain the COVID-19 tests which are then recorded on a Blockchain where the information is secure and tamper-proof. The traveller may also request a hard copy of these tests.

The information on the Blockchain is accessible via an app downloaded to the visitor's cell phone. If the visitor then travels to Barbados they can present their cell phone and provide the health and immigration officers access to the COVID-19 tests via the app.

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