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Barbados Updates Cruise Ship Protocols

Barbados has updated its cruise ship protocols as multiple Caribbean countries adjust guidelines and procedures to address Omicron-driven COVID-19 surges. The changes apply to travelers whose ships visit Barbados as a port of call, passengers planning to embark for their voyage in the Caribbean nation, and travelers who disembark at the Bridgetown port for land stays.

Cruise passengers (and all travelers) visiting Barbados as a port of call are required to be fully vaccinated. Under the updates, guests with proof of a negative result from an RT-PCR or rapid PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival will be permitted to disembark, explore independently and engage in shore excursions and tours, said Dr. Kenneth George, Barbados’ chief medical officer.

New restrictions apply to guests with proof of a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within three days of their departure but outside of the three-day window of arrival into Barbados.

Such passengers may disembark their ship but are restricted to “bubble” tours organized by their cruise line or by an approved tour or taxi operator, said George in a statement quoted on the Cruise Hive website.

Visitors are required to pre-book tours and present email confirmation from an approved tour operator for pick-up in the Bridgetown port, or take approved taxis dispatched from secure designated taxi facilities within the port. Tours and excursions may also be booked on arrival at the port or directly with independent tour operators.

Cruise guests arriving in Barbados on the day of their departure for sailings from Bridgetown will be transported through a “sanctuary corridor” via pre-arranged transportation, said George. Guests with a pre-cruise Barbados stay (and Bajans embarking on cruises) will be tested by local authorities at the Bridgetown cruise terminal.

Cruise passengers disembarking a ship in Bridgetown with plans to depart the same day will be transferred directly to the airport. Depending on their destination, passengers must be tested by their cruise line; testing may be waived if there is no destination requirement.

Finally, guests who disembark for a post-cruise stay in Barbados must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. Disembarking passengers may access testing at the Bridgetown port and proceed to their accommodation to wait for results if their cruise line cannot provide testing.

Guests may also get tested at their hotel if testing is available there. Once a negative test is confirmed, visitors can explore the island freely, said George.

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