Grantley Adams Airport to remain closed until June 30 – Barbados Gov'tFriday, May 22, 2020
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Barbados Government says while its international airport remains closed to commercial traffic until June 30, this is not a guaranteed date for when airlines will resume flying to the island.
“I cannot give you a date on which the airlines will be returning. We have taken a position that the airport remains closed to commercial traffic until the 30th of next month,” Tourism and International Transport Minister, Kerrie Symmonds told a virtual news conference regarding the Grantley Adams International Airport.
“If the happy circumstances arise that you have significant improvements, and we can feel confident that it is easy to reopen, then that decision will be taken, but until such time we are going to be very guarded on this matter, and go as fast as the data and the circumstances allow us to feel comfortable.
“Going about it phase by phase and step by step gives us an opportunity to protect our people while giving us an opportunity to develop some economic activity which is absolutely critical to the same people as well,” Symmonds added.
Barbados, like other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries closed its borders in March in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has killed nearly 400,000 people and infected more than 4.5 million others worldwide.
Symmonds said that safety is a priority for Barbados, and any decision taken to reopen the sector will “not be date driven, but rather data driven”.
“I want to make it clear that we have not settled yet on any definitive course of action, not just in Barbados, but across the Caribbean and also with the airlines,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and her St Lucian counterpart, Allen Chastanet, both chaired a “useful meeting” with all the airlines that service the region last week.
“The airlines understand what we are trying to achieve… Their interest as well is safely. The take away from that meeting is that there is no competitive advantage that anybody has over the other in terms of being safe.
“We all want the highest degree of safety that we can have. Nobody feels comfortable in reopening until you have been able to secure, first of all, the well-being of the people in your country and the workers, and secondly the visitors to the island,” he added.
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