It seems like a mute question to ask which hotels are open in Barbados since Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has said Barbados hotels and resorts, villas and apartments never officially closed. Hotels were free to operate if they had guests. Of course, the Barbados Lockdown put a halt to most operations but long-term stays continued to operate with guests self-quarantining in their respective accommodation.
Naturally, tourism shut down as the airlines stopped flying. During that time, Barbados began the process of rebuilding for the future. Protocols and standards were established for accommodation, restaurants and tourism activities.
List of Hotels Open & COVID- Approved
The COVID-19 protocols imposed conditions that tourism entities had to meet and the process of approving properties was set up in 2 phases. The first phase saw 15 hotels open and approved as meeting the new standards.
Opening is a two way street and while the government was keen to open slowly, it is also true that many hotel also preferred to wait and see how it went. At the same time some hotels are now hosting guest, even though they are not on the BHTA list.
A Class Hotels
B Class Hotels and Apartments
More Hotels Are Open Now & Opening Soon
Another 40 resorts are expected to be approved before the end of the year. All those shown above are COVID-approved members of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA). Many hotels have not opened at this stage but are coming on stream as we speak.
The list reflects the BHTA-approved properties as of July, 2020. It is a work in progress and is never the complete picture at any given time.
Tourism Curtailed by Caution & Limited Flights
Senator Rudy Grant, CEO of the BHTA, says that the reality of opening is dependent on airlift and the state of the virus in the country of origin. “The airlift is approximately 5% of what is was this time last year. Hotel occupancy is just 6% and revenue has dropped by 96%.”
All the data shows that people are starting to fly again but the majority are staying close to home. The New York Times confirms that over 800,000 US passengers took flights across the country on August 16. That is the highest number since March.
Vacationers Cautious of Flying to Tourism Destinations
According to FlightAware.com, commercial flights are down 43% of normal traffic in the US. That is far better that it has been. It had fallen by 77% in April. Generally, travellers are saying where they want to go – “away from other people”.
Barbados needs to open slowly to preserve the space and privacy that the cautions traveller expects.
According to FlightAware.com, commercial flights are down 43% of normal traffic in the US. That is far better that it has been. It had fallen by 77% in April. Generally, travellers are saying where they want to go – “away from other people”. Barbados needs to open slowly to preserve the space and privacy that the cautions traveller expects.
In-Flight Virus Transmission is Low
For the destination and the traveller, the risk of getting infected in-flight is paramount. If anyone is infected, not only are those close to them exposed but each of those exposed are at risk and must be monitored and quarantined on arrival.
A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggested that the chance of getting infected in-flight is very low. It concluded that passengers are protected by the barrier of the seat backs, the in-flight air purification systems and masks. These all help to minimize contagion. On a “fully loaded flight, the chance of contracting COVID-19 was one in 4,300. If the middle seat is empty, the risk falls to one in 7,700.” Source: NYT
Barbados Air Travel Transmission Experience
Barbados Air Travel Arrivals are painstakingly tracked, monitored and tested. Of the 157 cases of passenger-related spread, the numbers are fairly evenly distributed across all countries of origin.
Canada 4 |UK 22 |USA 24 | Caribbean 10| Transit 7 | N/A 2|
Charter 1 | 78 Passengers | Total including all prior to re-opening 189
What is clear now is that the new cases are all related to flights coming in. Some have tested negative before the flight or on arrival and subsequently tested positive during the 2 week quarantine periods. This may indicate that the virus may have been transmitted in flight.
More data is needed to validate that conclusion as it may well be that those infected were asymptomatic carriers who were exposed to the virus prior to the flight. In addition some may have been effected while in quarantine, although this is not likely.
The Barbados Covid tracking team have done a masterful job of monitoring and isolating cases to avoid addition spread.
Video – Hotels Open & State of Air Travel Today
The video sums up the key points of the blog. It reviews the phased approach in reopening hospitality and looks at the factors holding it back – namely, risk and reward in a world of caution.
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