The Government of Barbados has announced that they intend to offer Covid-19 vaccinations to visitors to beginning in May. With over 12.5% of the population receiving their first shot of the vaccine within two weeks, Barbados now leads the way for vaccinations in the Caribbean.
“To ensure widespread protection, Government has signaled its intent to obtain more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for persons on island, whether they are citizens or not, by the end of April or early May 2021,” the official tourism authority of Barbados told Travel Off Path in an email.
This means that visitors of all ages to Barbados could have access to a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as May. With dozens of countries lagging behind in their vaccination programs, many travelers may begin looking elsewhere to receive their shot.
What Type Of Travelers Will Be Eligible?
While further details have not been released at this time, travelers that may receive preference could be those already in Barbados on programs such as the 1 year Barbados Welcome Stamp. Other travelers given priority could include long stay tourists and snowbirds.
Island Received Its First 100,000 Doses
The first 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Barbados as a donation from India. Now as the Caribbean nation looks to secure more doses, the island is ready to offer them to visitors once its population is vaccinated.
Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley’s government expects to have its entire population fully vaccinated by the end of April.
Covid-19 Vaccine Tourism Will Be The Next Trend In 2021
With some countries now eyeing the finish line on vaccinating their entire population, its only a matter of time before some these countries start offering up the vaccine as a way to boost tourism. Travel Off Path predicts that vaccine tourism will be the next big trend of 2021 as countries look to rebuild their economies.
Barbados has said that they are offering the vaccine as a way to protect its citizens but what they may not realize is citizens from countries like Canada will be very interested, especially those who are already abroad. Canada has had a disastrous roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine having only vaccinated 1.1% of its population as of February 20th.
For millions of travelers all over the world that may not be willing to go home or can’t afford to go home due to travel restrictions, they are all watching and waiting for which countries decide to offer up the vaccines for non-residents. Additionally, numerous countries are lagging behind on inoculating their citizens and for those that aren’t willing to wait, they will get their vaccine in another country if its readily available. It’s a recipe for a new type of tourism that could explode in popularity.
The Vaccine Tourism Trend Has Began
The trend of offering up vaccines as a way to lure visitors has already started. Recently Cuba announced that they will offer the Covid-19 vaccine to visitors once their vaccine is finished trials and approved.
In Dubai, those that are approved for the one year digital nomad visa will also be provided with the Covid-19 vaccine. Barbados is the third country that has announced they will be offering the vaccine to visitors and seems to be the best bet if the Caribbean nation follows through.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories