Updated: coronavirus guidance

The risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) is now rated as high according to the government.

The government has now announced that everyone must stay at home. You can only go out:

  • To shop for basic necessities
  • To take one form of exercise a day
  • For a medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • To travel to and from essential work

Self-isolate for seven days if you have either:

  • A high temperature
  • A new continuous cough

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact the hospital to tell them you’re staying at home.

The NHS will not be testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms.

If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, contact Barbados Covid-19 Hotline on 536-4500


Preventing the spread of infection

Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.

Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

Other advice:

  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Avoid direct contact with fuel pumps and/or air pressure pumps at the petrol station, and also pay and display ticket machines. If your car is going in/coming out of a garage, others will have been using the controls, so make sure you thoroughly disinfect. Avoid handling cash and get a contactless payment system or use bank transfers.

Ask your pupils to clean their hands just before they get into the car with the recommended gels/soap and water, keep tissues in the car and a bin bag to dispose of any rubbish once or twice a day, Keep your car windows open, sanitise your keys, and external parts of the car such as door handles, fuel caps, bonnet catches, door mirrors (take manufacturers’ advice re avoiding putting certain products that are not meant for cars as it could cause damage to surfaces). If you are in a test centre waiting room, remember the social distancing rule (2m) and make sure a window is open if possible.

Face masks for the general public are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.

Driver and rider trainer guidance

Our current position is outlined below:

At an extremely difficult and worrying time for us all, taking into account the Government public health advice regarding social distancing and trying to control and delay the spread of the COVID-19 virus, BDTAS would urge all instructors to stop delivering driving lessons, if you have not already done so, with the exception of teaching key workers where necessary. This should be until the middle of May and then we can then all review the situation again. 

In BDTAS’s view, it is not possible for us to comply with current social distancing measures whilst teaching in a car. 

We realise that any decision regarding your business is ultimately your own to make, but hope that this announcement might help those of you with uncertainty about the appropriate course of action to take in these unprecedented circumstances. We will keep you updated as times go on and if the situation changes, please keep checking BDTAS website for current updates and advice.

If you do deem it necessary to continue supplying driver or rider training (to key workers etc), please see our guidance below.

Call your pupils ahead of each lesson (even if you have seen them within the last couple of days). 

  • Ask them if they have any symptoms.
  • Ask them if anyone they know, or have been in contact with, is showing symptoms.
  • Ask them if they, or if anyone they have been in contact with, has travelled from a high-risk, infectious region.

If a parent or anyone else comes along on the lesson, you will need to go through this with them too (or jointly). 

Explain to them that you need to take a few extra precautionary measures during their lesson to keep them, and everyone safe. 

Ask them: 

  • To wash their hands or use sanitiser gel just prior to getting into the car.
  • To cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing – so a sleeve or tissue, not their hands.

Tell them:

  • You’ll keep a window open for ventilation. 

You also have some other housekeeping to do in order to help protect yourself and your client:

Before the client enters the vehicle, ensure that you have wiped over the following contact points:

Door handles (inside and out), window controls, seat adjusters, steering wheel and steering wheel height adjuster, parking brake, gear lever, indicator and wiper stalks and light controls with alcohol-based gel at the beginning and end of each training session. This would be good practise. 

If you are unable to get the alcohol gel, then a bottle containing disinfectant, mixed with antibacterial soap and water and wiped over with kitchen paper and then dried with a separate sheet of kitchen paper would do. Ensure to discard the paper in the bin each time.

As a note of caution, the police are stopping people who are out in their cars to ask them what they are doing. This is because travel is only allowed when absolutely necessary. We are currently speaking to MTWM regarding the training of key workers, but the police now have the power to arrest people for going out without good reason. We will keep you updated with MTWM advice for training key workers.

For motorcycle instructors

Check the ATB has contacted the client to ensure that they are turning up for training in a fit and healthy state. Make sure that all equipment is sanitised, such as gloves, helmets and their fastening straps, fuel taps, handlebars and grips, brake and clutch levers.

When you stop for breaks on the road, monitor the clients. Body temperature increases greatly in protective clothing when in challenging and unfamiliar environments, like when training.

If re-fuelling, remove your protective gloves and put on disposable gloves supplied for diesel pumps. This stops you putting any contamination into your protective gloves and incubating it with sweaty hands. Sanitise the key.

If your clients develop signs of fever or other pertinent symptoms of COVID-19 during training, call COVID-19 hotline immediately. Get advice on what to do with the casualty as they are not isolated and then get advice for yourself and the other clients in your party.