Barbados has admirably balanced the well-being of its citizens and residents with its accessibility to travellers, remaining a safe, open vacation destination during these unprecedented times. Still, there are some key points to be prepared for when visiting - you’ll want to know what attractions are open, if there’s still nightlife, and generally what the Barbados lifestyle looks like during COVID-19. Here’s what you can expect when staying in Barbados this summer.
From the outset, this small Caribbean nation has taken the pandemic seriously. Barbados has a robust vaccination programme in place and mask-wearing in public spaces is required. In addition, hand-sanitising upon entry to businesses, restaurants and bars is still expected. Many businesses will also have a book on entry for visitors to fill in their contact information, just in case any contact tracing needs to be done. These measures, though more stringent than what many travellers may be used to at home, have been implemented for safety. It’s also about the peace of mind and assurance of both locals and visitors that we are all playing our part to protect each other.
Several popular attractions have re-opened including St. Nicholas Abbey, one of the last three remaining Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, Harrison’s Cave has just reopened as Eco Adventure Park at Harrison Cave under new management. Coco Hill Forest and Welchman Hall Gully deep in the interior are also open for nature enthusiasts. For those who will appreciate the history of rum, Mount Gay’s famous rum tours are also being offered and for visitors who enjoy go-karting and motorsports, Bushy Park Race Circuit in St. Philip is open, offering the amazing driving experiences it is known for.
Nightlife in Barbados
At the time of publication, a national curfew is in place from 11:00 PM - 5:00 AM nightly, which means no late-night experiences. However, live entertainment at restaurants and bars is still available, but you can expect it to start and end earlier due to the curfew. Many bars and restaurants on the island’s South Coast, including Bar 1887 at The Crane, will start live music performances around 6pm and end before 9pm. You can also expect restaurants to close by or before 10:00 PM. to allow the staff to clean up and travel home before 11:00 PM.
Pro tip: Enjoy the live music up until it ends, but be sure to purchase your own beverages so that by the time you return to your accommodation, you can continue to enjoy your drinks inside your room and stay within the rules.
Watersports and Cruises
The beaches in Barbados are open and as always, all of our beaches are free to use for both locals and visitors as there are no private beaches allowed on the island. In addition, many watersports are available including jet ski riding and diving to visit submerged shipwrecks. Catamaran cruises are also back, and it would be a shame to visit Barbados without enjoying a sunset cruise on board a catamaran.
With a welcoming population that cares for each other, open to incoming visitors and year-round fantastic weather, Barbados is perhaps best seen as a respite from the rest of the world during these unprecedented times.