Working from home could be about to get a major upgrade, as Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has said her government is considering letting visitors stay and work remotely from the island for a year.
Mottley said lawmakers were looking at introducing the 12-month “Barbados Welcome Stamp,” noting that restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic had made short-term travel more difficult because of the testing now required.
“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,” she said in a speech last week, according to the Barbados Government Information Service website. She added that it would allow “persons to come and work from here overseas, digitally so, so that persons don’t need to remain in the countries in which they are.”
A sign at Bathsheba Park, Barbados.
Barbados is set to start welcoming travelers from July 12. Mottley said in the speech that in order to attract visitors, what Barbados had to offer “has to be world-class and what we continue to offer is world-class.”
Tourism directly accounts for 12% of Barbados’ gross domestic product, and indirectly for 40% of its economic activity, according to data compiled by the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association. It is also said to be the largest source of jobs in the island’s private sector.
Barbados has relaxed certain coronavirus restrictions and lifted curfews. It has introduced physical distancing of three feet and is allowing social events with up to 500 patrons as well as spectators at sporting events.
There have been 98 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Barbados and seven deaths from the virus, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.