Less than three weeks after reopening its borders to international visitors, the Bahamas on Sunday announced that it is closing all of its airports and seaports to tourists from the United States, effective Wednesday.
Bahamasair, the country’s national carrier, will cease all outgoing flights to the United States immediately, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a national address Sunday.
Outgoing commercial flights will still be permitted to accommodate visitors scheduled to leave the Bahamas after Wednesday, he said. Visitors from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union will still be permitted to visit as long as they can show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test from an accredited laboratory taken within 10 days of their arrival. Also allowed under the new order: private international flights and charters and pleasure crafts.
Other quotes from the Prime Minister:
“Regrettably, the situation here at home has already deteriorated since we began the reopening of our domestic economy,” Minnis said. “It has deteriorated at an exponential rate since we reopened our international borders.”
The Bahamas has reported 49 new covid-19 cases since opening its borders to foreign travelers on July 1, Minnis said. That amounts to nearly a third of the total infections detected in the country since the pandemic began. Most of the new cases have been found on the island of Grand Bahama, a popular resort destination.
In talking with our friends on Andros, Harbour Island and other Out Islands, they are not reporting any new cases, but everyone is concerned with the spike in virus infections. Andros Island has several clinics, but there is no clinics on Harbour Island to treat patients. There is no current plan for a reopening date.