People working from home during the coronavirus pandemic could be given the opportunity to relocate to the Caribbean under a proposal from the Barbados government.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley is considering introducing a “Barbados Welcome Stamp” which would allow international arrivals to live on the island while working remotely for up to a year.
Ms Mottley has proposed the scheme as short-term travel has been become more difficult during the pandemic.
Tourism makes up 40% of Barbados’ GDP and 30% of its workforce is employed in the sector, according to Travel Market Report.
But the industry has been badly affected as the coronavirus pandemic has grounded airlines and berthed cruise ships.
Ms Mottley proposed offering the option of a year-long stay as Barbados is set to open its borders to international visitors again on 12 July.
The move would allow those who took up the offer to immerse themselves in the island’s Bajan culture and lifestyle in a way that holidaymakers are unable to.
Ms Mottley said in a statement: “You don’t need to work in Europe, or the US or Latin America if you can come here and work for a couple months at a time; go back and come back.
“But in order for those things to truly resonate, what does it mean? It means that what we offer has to be world class and what we continue to offer is world class.”
She added: “The government is committed to working with you on the promotion of new concepts like the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp, being able to open our borders to persons travelling and making it as hospitable as ever for all of us, and making it available for Barbadians from every walk of life to believe that for special occasions, or just for so, that they can come out and be a part of this wonderful exercise.”
All visitors arriving on the island will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result and must wear a face mask at the airport.