Work From Home on a Tropical Island
A toast to the end of another work day. Photo: Courtesy of Visit Barbados
Work from home – on an island. Yes, that’s what we said.
Summer is on the wane and, with any luck and keeping up with the health and safety recommendations, so is the risk of COVID-19. That said, our government and health experts are still recommending caution.
Many of us are still working from home, with companies taking the safest route and, if it continues to help keep the cases low, we’re all for it. But that doesn’t mean the traveller in most of us isn’t getting a tad restless.
There are a few countries that are answering that call, with programs and specials that are tweaking the idea of working from home to working remotely from your temporary tropical home.
Bermuda’s new “Work From Bermuda” Certificate Programme allows travellers 18-plus to move to the island for a year while working remotely, including the flexibility to travel back and forth seamlessly and to bring the family along as well. Application fees cost US$263.
Bermuda offers physical and social security – and a virtually COVID-19-free environment. According to the country’s authorities, the island has proven to be one of the most successful countries in the world at controlling the virus and testing per capita, reopening to visitors in July with responsible health and safety measures in place. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also has Bermuda on alert level 2 (most countries are still at level 3), which is an advisory to practise enhanced cautions, as it deems the COVID-19 risk there to be moderate.
The island is also home to some fantastic shipwreck diving and snorkelling, with more than 300 sunken ships – some dating back to the 1600s – gorgeous golf courses, as well as the easy Cross-Island Railway Trail that allows you to traverse 18 miles – pretty much the whole country in a day.
Flight plan: The island is less than a three-hour flight from Toronto. Air Canada flies twice weekly, on Thursdays and Fridays. You’ll have your toes in that gorgeous pink sand before you know it. Just order a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, sit back and relax (after your workday is done, of course).
For more on the Work From Bermuda Certificate Programme, its eligibility requirements and links to the online portal, as well as current COVID-19 protocols, go to workfrombermuda.com.
Live Like a “Bajan” in Barbados
Barbados has reopened to international travellers with an invitation to work remotely and live like a “Bajan” for a year. With the newly launched “Barbados Welcome Stamp” program, which allows remote workers to stay in Barbados, the island is now accepting applications for its 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp Visa.
This special visa, says the island’s authorities, provides remote workers with an opportunity to transport their home office to paradise by relocating to Barbados for up to a year. “COVID-19 has placed a severe strain on people’s mental wellness,” Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, told Today’s WorldView in an interview. “The sunshine is powerful. The seawater is powerful. They’re both therapeutic in ways that are hard to explain. Why not share it?”
“COVID-19 has changed the global business landscape as a larger number of people continue to work from home,” said Prime Minister Mottley. “With this new visa, we can provide workers with an opportunity to spend the next 12 months working remotely from paradise, here in Barbados.”
Barbados’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts and robust contact tracing protocols have been effective. The country of more than 280,000 people has had just over 100 cases of the novel coronavirus and seven deaths. To clear immigration on arrival in Barbados, travellers will be required to present evidence of a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test and an embarkation/disembarkation card (ED card), which covers personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms.
Mottley went on to break down the current challenges of short-term travel: “Rather than coming for the usual week or three weeks or a month, why not plan out your business? We have a mechanism that allows people who want to take advantage of being in a different part of the world, of the sun, sea and sand, and a stable society; one that functions well. Barbados is a perfect place for you to come.”
Of course, it comes at a price: upon approval of an application, the individual fee is US$2,000; a family fee is US$3,000. Applicants, however, will not be liable for Barbados Income Tax, so there is that. And the beautiful people and the beautiful beaches and the beautiful people. You get the picture. For more, go to www.Barbadoswelcomestamp.bb
Air Canada resumed flights to the Grantley Adams International Airport in mid-July with two flights a week out of Toronto Pearson International Airport and is set to expand to three flights a week starting on Aug. 15, 2020.
Click here for Visit Barbados COVID-19 travel guidelines.