No rush to ban travellers
Barbados has no immediate plan to impose a ban on travellers from Ebola-affected countries.
Minister of Health John Boyce and Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John addressed the issue this morning, while speaking to reporters at the end of a tour of medical facilities at the Barbados Defence Force, St Anns Fort headquarters, The Garrison.
Responding to news that neighbouring St Vincent and the Grenadines had banned travellers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea, Minister Boyce said no such policy position had been taken by his Ministry or by Cabinet.
“In this case we are taking one step at a time. We have so far advised persons who do not have to make journeys into those areas not to do so. And certainly visitors who have travelled to these areas, do have to declare their travel itinerary on arrival at Grantley Adams International Airport.”
He also noted there were international protocols in place.
“We have not taken a recommendation of banning travel at this stage. So this is something we would have to consider. I would have to engage the team at the Ministry before we arrive at a policy like that.”
He said the important thing was that the country’s port health was on full alert and had been examining travel records of all visitors to the island.
“In cases where there is any suspicion, there are certain protocols which are in place, including surveillance are being put into effect.”
Also commenting on the matter, Dr St John said she did not believe imposition of a travel ban was a decision that should be taken lightly.
She said serious thought had to be put into any such decision, especially considering that Ebola had affected countries such as the United States, which is one of this island’s main tourism source markets and trading partners.
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