Barbados says US travel advisory is not justified

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hit out at the United States following the recent advisory in which Washington warned Americans against travel to the island in the wake of the pandemic.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the foreign ministry said that the  “Do Not Travel” suggestions that COVID-19 is very prevalent in Barbados.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has the further honor to state that Barbados condemns any travel advisory which, absent of publicly verifiable data, advocates for the prohibition of travel to Barbados on the suggestion that such is inherently dangerous for international travelers.

“While cognisant of the Department of State’s consular responsibility to American citizens and residents overseas, Barbados does not accept that its national conditions merit the assignment of a Level-4 advisory customarily reserved for states in the midst of destabilizing conflict or in which American travelers have been targeted for harm.

The Ministry also expressed concern that the advisory does not allow US travelers to travel to the island.

“Barbados believes that such data compares favorably to the realities in other major tourist destinations and regrets that such nuances can never be captured under a blanket Level 4 advisory. At the same time, Barbados notes that some countries have retained a Level-3 travel advisory from the Department of State while maintaining a Level-4 CDC advisory as of April 20, 2020. Such disparities only strengthen the Government of Barbados’ call for a dispassionate presentation of the facts concerning the public health situation in each country.”

The ministry also said Barbados had not identified additional coronavirus variants of concern that would significantly diminish vaccine efficacy and had implemented a triple-test and quarantine requirement for unvaccinated international travelers, well over regional entry protocols, to minimize the possibility of local transmission through imported cases.

Barbados now joins 129 other nations, about 80 percent of the world, to receive the new label from the US State Department.

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