As the United States battles a new wave of the coronavirus, Barbados is pushing on with its tourism reopening plans. The Caribbean nation has announced a new COVID-19 testing option designed to make tourism a lot easier.
Barbados officially opened for international tourism on July 12. Like many other countries, it requires visitors from medium- and high-risk countries to have a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test administered within the 72 hours before arrival. (Once on the island, travelers will have to quarantine at their accommodation for four days, then they’ll have to take a second test, after which they’re free to move about Barbados.) However, these kinds of entry requirements have proven a bit difficult to meet for many travelers; it can be challenging to find a test facility that promises results quick enough to fit that window.
To solve that problem, Barbados now offers a testing program in conjunction with StageZero Life Sciences for travelers based in the U.S. and Canada. Travelers need to order a test online at least a week before their trip to Barbados, and it’ll show up on their doorstep. Then, the traveler will make an appointment with a mobile healthcare professional who will actually visit the traveler’s home to administer the test in person. Once the test is sent back to the lab, StageZero guarantees results within 48 hours, which, if negative, would provide a traveler entry into Barbados.
“This partnership with StageZero Life Sciences is going to be able to give us coverage across the entire United States and Canadian markets, to ensure we are able to get persons to travel to Barbados,” Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Barbados’ minister of tourism and international transport, said in a statement. “Our diaspora, our guests, people who want to be able to come to Barbados for the winter season, will be able to come and get their test prior to embarkation at their gateway, and then arrive in Barbados safely before having their second test here on island.”
The service costs $265, though if you have multiple people in your household taking the test, you’ll receive discounts. The service is not mandatory, either—you can still choose to seek out your own test, as long as it’s with an accredited provider and laboratory. But if you’re planning to visit Barbados and you live in an area with limited testing options, opting to take the StageZero test is a pretty smart idea.