COVID-19 update with Head of the Health Communications Team, Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson. (PMO)

Head of the COVID-19 Health Communications Team, Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson gave a further explanation last night on how compensation would be provided to Barbadians and visitors impacted by the delay of the second test results for COVID-19.

Ambassador Thompson, at a virtual press briefing, first offered apologies to all those who experienced financial and emotional angst, as a result of delays in receiving their second COVID-19 test results.

She stated: “The Government is doing everything that it can, given the numbers, given what is an international trend, given the fact that we’ve had these simultaneous breakouts that we could not have anticipated, given the fact that there have breakdowns of equipment that we could not have anticipated.

“There is nothing I think that will make you feel better, but please understand that you have the sympathy and the apology of the Government of Barbados.”

Ambassador Thompson then explained the process for compensation, noting that the offer is for those travellers who have had to stay in accommodations “for the additional days beyond when you should have gotten your test result back. If you were stuck for additional days, we (Government) will look at compensating you for those days”.

Answering the question as to where Government would get the money from, she stated: “This is the approach that is going to be used. If hoteliers are not prepared to comp the stay for those extra days, Government will look to see if there are monies owed to Government, and write offs will then have to take place against those costs or expenditures. Lab tests, where necessary, may have to be redone, and there are methods therefore which are going to be used to facilitate these additional stays without all cash transactions being done.”

Ambassador Thompson stressed that Government wouldn’t “deliberately mangle” the return of test results, and that multiple processes were being put in place to improve the situation. 

She also noted that Government did not anticipate it would be paying out large sums of money in compensation. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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