Barbados has entered Phase 3 of reopening its economy following the suspension of non-essential services in the fight against COVID-19.
It has also announced a BDS $200 million Barbados Tourism Facility that will be created to support hotels in need of urgent working capital and give them the opportunity to become more profitable through renovations and more.
Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, announced that the decision was made based on public health recommendations and will be constantly under review. To date, there have been 88 confirmed cases, 68 total recoveries and seven deaths in Barbados. The active cases remain in isolation and are receiving care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
The protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to contain the virus for visitors arriving from other countries, remain in effect. All persons coming to Barbados will be quarantined for a period of 14 days.
During Phase 3 of the reopening, a number of businesses including key government offices, construction, manufacturing and delivery companies will be permitted to resume activities. The Government of Barbados has also issued a number of mandatory health and safety protocols for the reopening of businesses, including limiting work requiring human contact, wearing face masks, increased sanitizing of facilities, and practicing social distancing.
“This plan is about three main things. First and foremost, it is about public health and keeping people safe post-lockdown. Secondly, it is about exiting full lockdown, bringing back activity, and stopping the spread of severe risks to society and security from not doing so. Thirdly, it is about breathing hope and killing despair. It is a plan that engages all of society and makes a subtle shift from command and control to a sense that individuals are doing something positive about their lives, their communities, and the circumstances,” said Mottley in a press release statement.
For the wider public, Phase 3 has also seen the relaxation of previously implemented measures, including returned beach access between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. However, residents remain under curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Additionally, a BDS $200 million Barbados Tourism Facility will be created in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank’s private sector lending arm. This facility will provide support to hotels in need of urgent working capital and give them the opportunity to become more profitable through upgrades, expansion and modernization. It will also focus on lending for good development outcomes such as jobs retention, and to hotels that achieve better integration with local agriculture, use renewable energy, and upskill local staff.
“Tourism will still be a mainstay of our economy; all different types of tourism from the traditional sun and sea to medical and educational tourism, from new visitors to repeat visitor to those from the diaspora,” said Mottley.
In addition to the lending facility, Mottley also announced the resumption of several major construction projects across the island, including the BDS $25 million improvements to the Apes Hill Golf Course.
For more information on Barbados’ response to COVID-19 click here.