Since reopening on July 1, 2020, The Bahamas has seen a surge of 49 news cases of Covid-19, making the total confirmed cases now at 153.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis held a press conference today, July 19, to update Bahamians and tourists on the current state of affairs and major changes he is making to protect the country.
PM Minnis clearly stated that swift action needed to be taken in order to save the Bahamas from a complete lockdown.
One of the most drastic updates he is making, effective Wednesday July 22, 2020, is to ban ALL international flights except for those coming from Canada, the UK and nations within the EU.
This travel ban will most greatly affect travelers from the USA, who have been permitted to travel to the island since its reopening on July 1st.
IMPORTANT UPDATE AUGUST 3:
Since the publishing of this article, the Bahamas has retracted their ban on US travelers and has now imposed PCR testing AND mandatory 14-day quarantine.
*Please see all Bahamas Entry Requirement Updates
PM Minnis also stated that Bahamas Air will cease all outgoing flights to USA effective immediately. Travelers that are currently in the USA will have to find other airlines in the next few days to return home as soon as possible, potentially before no more flights are available.
Summary of Updated Restrictions For The Bahamas:
Here is a summary of the updated restrictions for the Bahamas as per the press conference given by PM Minnis on July 19, 2020
→ International commercial flights and commercial vessels will NOT be permitted except Canada, UK and EU effective Wednesday July 22nd at midnight
→ Bahamas Air will cease all outgoing flights to USA effective immediately.
→ ALL returning residents and visitors will require a negative test result within 10 days before departure day. The must also have an approved health visa to enter. Any resident who does not have a negative PCR test must be quarantined with a monitoring device for 14 days, or at a government facility at their expense. Covid-19 tests will be administered at the end of the 14-day quarantine at cost of traveler/resident.
→ Domestic travel will continue to be permitted, but all domestic travelers are still required to complete the electronic health visa.
→ Public and private beaches and parks on New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and surrounding cays will be closed effective tomorrow at 5 p.m.
→ Restaurants at Arawak Cay and Potter's Cay will be closed effective tomorrow.
Updates for Specifically Grand Bahama Island
→ Grand Bahama has been the most resurgence of cases, especially after being covid free for over 2 months. The PM said the resurgence has come from inbound tourism and residents returning to the island.
→ A new curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. starts on Grand Bahama July 20
→ All public and private beaches and parks will be closed as of 5 a.m. tomorrow.
→ International and domestic borders will be closed to all incoming and outgoing air and sea vessels effective midnight July 22
→ Indoor dining is closed. Only outdoor dining and curbside pickup will be available.
→ Social distancing and mask wearing is now enforced
PM Minnis ended the press conference with a word of warning. If the above restrictions and efforts are unsuccessful, Grand Bahamas island, or the entire nation, could face a total lock down as soon as Friday July 24.