I am writing this in a hotel room in Barbados, waiting for the results of the PCR tests we had to take on arrival on Wednesday.
Due to an ever increasing backlog, there is no certainty that they will be returned promptly. Our hotel emailed me on Monday offering to waive all cancellation fees if we decided not to come because of this, but with a nine night trip we were willing to risk having a couple of restricted days.
Our hotel plays fast and loose with the Government guidelines in any event. Whilst we are banned from the beach and will not get our room cleaned, we are not banned from any of the restaurants, the bars, the resort shops or the swimming pool!
The bigger problem is what happens if you test positive. To quote gov.uk:
“You will first be transferred to the government isolation facility …. Conditions at the government quarantine facilities are generally basic and not necessarily equivalent to a tourist hotel with the associated services … This may mean a mandatory stay of several weeks in Barbados.”
Oddly enough this has been putting some people off.
Barbados announced yesterday that the rules will change from Sunday. The negative PCR test taken in the UK – which all current arrivals have to show, on top of the test taken on landing – will now be enough. Fully vaccinated passengers and their children will no longer need to be restricted for 1-2 days of their holiday waiting for a test result and will no longer be at risk of de facto imprisonment for ‘several weeks’.
PS. This is a good time to remind you that the Aer Lingus services from Manchester to Barbados started on Wednesday. I saw the aircraft on the tarmac when I landed on the BA service. They will initially operate twice per week, increasing to three times a week as the season progresses. I am not sure how easy it is to find Avios redemptions, especially as BA Executive Club has better availability – but only discoverable via the call centre you can’t get through to – than avios.com.