Remote Workers Could Soon Call Barbados Home for a Year

The Barbadian government is considering implementing a ‘Barbados Welcome Stamp’ scheme that would enable overseas arrivals to come live on the island for up to an entire year and bring their remote work with them.

Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley, said that the idea was born out of the difficulty posed by short-term travel as a consequence of the pandemic, with the worldwide application of quarantine restrictions and requirements for COVID-19 tests, which might not have been reliably available everywhere.

“COVID-19 has presented tremendous challenges to those countries that are tourism and travel dependent, and we have reached a position where we recognize that part of the challenge relates to short-term travel,” Mottley said in a Government Information Service announcement.

“Rather than coming for the usual week, or three weeks or a month, why not plan out your business?” she said, “…and you can work from here.” The Prime Minister continued, “You don’t need to work in Europe, or the U.S. or Latin America if you can come here and work for a couple months at a time; go back and come back.”

In an interview with the U.K.’s Sky News, Mottley affirmed: “The government is committed to working with you on the promotion of new concepts like the twelve-month Barbados Welcome Stamp, being able to open our borders to persons traveling and making it as hospitable as ever for all of us.”

Mottley believes that, in light of travel challenges posed by the pandemic, the program would offer a whole new value proposition, “if we can have a mechanism that allows people who want to…take advantage of being in a different part of the world, of the sun, sea and sand, and…a stable society.”

The island nation is set to reopen its borders on July 12, with all arrivals required to present documented negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test performed within the past 72 hours (or one week for visitors from low-risk countries); or, to test upon arrival at the airport and remain quarantined at their own expense until the results are reported, typically within 48 hours’ time.

Those arriving from low-risk Caribbean or CARICOM countries who haven’t been to a high-risk area in the 21 days prior to embarkation, and all children ages five and under, are exempt from testing requirements.

Visitors will also be required to complete a new, digital Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) Form, made available online 72 hours prior to their scheduled arrival in Barbados, complete with COVID-19-related questions. Once all requirements have been submitted, travelers will receive a personal barcode to present upon entry to clear immigration checks.

Commercial air travel to the Caribbean nation will soon resume and include four weekly JetBlue flights out of New York, starting July 25. American Airlines is also scheduled to restart its service from Miami to Barbados on August 5.

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