THE government has reversed its decision banning commercial flights from the United States to the Bahamas, mandating instead that travelers from all countries quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in this country.
The latest Emergency Powers (COVID 19 Pandemic) Order 2020, released on Wednesday, contains the adjustment. This comes as Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is expected to announce new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 during a press conference at 6pm on Friday.
The latest emergency powers order says visitors arriving on international commercial air travel must submit to quarantine in a government facility at their own expense and undergo a RT-PCR COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test at the end of the quarantine period.
On Thursday the US Embassy in the Bahamas issued an alert telling its citizens: “All travelers entering the Bahamas via commercial air (regardless of country of origin, including the United States) must undergo a 14-day quarantine in a government facility upon arrival…”
Attorney General Carl Bethel said in a statement: “The provisions covering the admission of foreign visitors to the Bahamas were changed in order to create a uniform standard of treatment for all visitors to the Bahamas during this pandemic emergency. The creation of a uniform framework means that there is no longer any need to create any list of countries from which the Bahamas would accept commercial flights; which list thereby excluded other countries. Further it eliminates the need to continuously add or delete countries, as their circumstances might change.”
“Importantly, it allows for the protection of the Bahamian people from the possible dangers or travel-related contagion in a manner which is consistent with our treaty obligations and also with the provisions of the Chicago Convention, which regulates International Air Transport.”