According to Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson on Aug. 21, there will be a full transition to the use of the 48 kiosks at the airport.
Hinkson said the kiosk system had been tested for almost a year and has been fine-tuned to ensure the passenger information gathering system meets all the markers for Customs, Immigration and the Statistical Services.
“We have eliminated the ED cards from September 1,” he explained. “Cabinet made that decision … We have 48 kiosks now; there were 16 and we got another 32 and they were installed last month and are working effectively.”
Hinkson also disclosed that Cabinet has decided to put more questions in the system.
“Right now, on the ED card, persons are asked to put in their address, length of stay in Barbados, type of accommodation, zip code,” he said. “We are going to add some questions to the kiosks that will still allow for the acquisition of that information.”
Hinkson added that while speed of the process may vary based on the size of a traveling party, as well as an individual’s technical proficiencies, the digital systems have significantly cut the time it takes for passengers to get through the airport.
However, he stressed that while government was focused on improving efficiency and ease getting into the country, measures were being taken to ensure that national security was not compromised. He said the government has reserved the right to add more questions if international or local developments demand it.