The wait time for transit passengers at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) should be reduced going forward.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley noted that recently there have been delays in processing planes and passengers arriving on the island between 1:30 and 3:00 p.m. at the GAIA, and efforts were made to reduce wait times.
Speaking during a press briefing held at the GAIA on Saturday, where she announced a change to Barbados’ entry protocols and mask-wearing mandate, the Prime Minister pointed out that the move to a no-test requirement for vaccinated passengers, as well as an increase in the number of working baggage carousels, should improve the efficiency of getting arrival passengers through immigration and customs.
Prime Minister Mottley disclosed that seven of the eight baggage carousels were now working and there were 57 machines in the immigration section to help with processing.
She explained that along with functioning machinery, all parties working at the GAIA must play their part to help achieve a reduction in wait times for arriving passengers.
“If we are no longer requiring the tests, then it means that doesn’t slow down the process for people presenting test results and therefore people should be able to move through the airport much much quicker…. Every person on this premises called Grantley Adams Airport must see themselves as the chief host or the chief hostess of this country…. The airport is made up of many different parts, every single one who works up here is critical to the system working fluently and efficiently,” Ms. Mottley maintained.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, speaking on the effect of the change in entry protocols, stressed that the removal of the presentation of a COVID-19 test for vaccinated persons to enter Barbados was guided by “our scientists in the public health system”.
“What that signals to our travellers is that it is safe for them to come to Barbados [and] we are in a position where we can comfortably accommodate many of the same measures that they are experiencing in their countries….
“We’re always guided by what the Ministry of Health and the public health officials have said is safe for Barbados, and I think that is what has been brand Barbados. In our market, we have always been a safe destination, never gimmicky, never ‘doing it just because everyone else is doing it’ or because it is going to make money for us. It’s always been timed very carefully and so this is going to be beneficial for us….”
Changes to Barbados’ entry protocols and mask-wearing mandate are scheduled to take effect on Wednesday, May 25.