Published on : Tuesday, July 21, 2020
The Bahamas have decided to close its borders to travellers from the United States and will be banning American tourists from entering the country due to the constant surge of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. All international commercial flights and commercial vessels carrying passengers from the United States will also be restricted from arrival. The decision has been undertaken with the aim of preventing the further spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus in the Caribbean nation.
The Bahamas is highly dependent on tourism and reopened their borders to tourists earlier this month. The country reported few newly found COVID-19 cases since the reopening of its borders prompting the government to ban travellers from countries with coronavirus cases especially the United States. According to Bahamas Investment Authority, the majority of the 5.5 million tourists in the Bahamas arrive from the U.S. each year.
The official announcement was made by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis following the continued increase in COVID-19 cases in a number of states. He also mentioned that all international commercial flights will be banned from entering the Bahamas, starting Wednesday. He also informed that visitors from the United Kingdom, European Union and Canada with negative COVID-19 test results will be the only exemptions.
He further mentioned that national airline Bahamasair will end flights to the U.S. immediately and sea vessels carrying commercial passengers will also not be permitted to enter. However, it was also announced that private international flights, charters and yachts from all countries will continue to be allowed. He added that a number of beaches and parks have also been closed until further notice as the current situation demands decisive action in order to combat the virus.
Outgoing flights will be permitted to accommodate any current visitors scheduled to return to the United States after Wednesday. All visitors would be required to present a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test from a referenced lab, taken no more than ten days prior to the date of travel. The country mentioned that the latest restrictions have been put in place to protect the health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors, which remains of primary importance for the Bahamas, as well as to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the country.