Barbados has no immediate plans to implement ‘vaccine passport’

( Barbados Today ) The Government of Barbados currently has no plans to implement a ‘vaccine passport’ for travellers to and from the island, but the idea is being looked at.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Chair of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on COVID-19, Dr. Jerome Walcott says officials are in initial discussions as to how such a scheme would work.

At a news conference this evening, Walcott said although other jurisdictions around the world have started various trails in respect to a vaccine passport, which would reduce the arrival and quarantine procedures for travellers who would have already been vaccinated, Barbados currently has no such system in place, as talks around the subject have only recently started.

“There has been initial discussion, about persons who have had vaccines coming into Barbados, or indeed leaving Barbados to go to other countries … We should be focusing on vaccinating as many people as possible within Barbados, before we get into that.

“Within the region I believe [Cayman Islands] has a protocol and persons have been vaccinated, and I know that some other tourism destinations have come up with their protocols. In Barbados I would say this is at a rudimentary phase now, we are just discussing the possibilities,” he stressed.

When asked how the Government was tracking the several variants of COVID-19, Walcott said the Ministry of Health is aware of the several scientific studies being done on detected mutations, but so far, the science still supports the use of all the vaccines currently available on the market.“I think we would have to focus on what is happening in the United States, where we are now seeing, I think, a New York variant and there is a California variant. These are the things we need to focus on; all of the science shows that the vaccines are all effective in terms of controlling the symptoms in whatever variant it is.” (SB)