BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday March 9, 2020 – The Barbados Government has expanded its quarantine protocol to apply to passengers arriving in Barbados from all of Italy.
Previously, only persons arriving from three districts in northern Italy were impacted by the 14-day quarantine requirement related to the coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak.
But Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George says that based on the latest available information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the decision was taken to require all arrivals from Italy to report to Port Health at the ports of entry and be sent to immediate quarantine.
As of yesterday there were 5,883 cases in Italy and 234 deaths – the largest number of cases and deaths in Europe, which is one of Barbados’ main tourism markets.
Health officials said the type of quarantine in which a person who arrives from Italy is placed will be determined by the level of risk of exposure. Low risk individuals will be sent to home quarantine while moderate to high risk individuals will be sent to mandatory quarantine.
Additionally, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has advised residents of Barbados against all non-essential travel to Italy with immediate effect.
Meantime, the Ministry disclosed yesterday that three passengers aboard the Italian cruise ship Costa Magica, who were exhibiting respiratory symptoms and suspected of possibly having COVID-19, were found to be negative after being tested in Barbados.
The ship had docked in the island after being denied entry in Tobago, with a total 2,307 passengers and 962 crew. Those included 417 Italians who would have boarded the vessel between February 28 and March 6.
The tests were conducted on board the ship by a public health team. None of the passengers or crew was permitted to disembark in Barbados.