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Islands Travel Gets Go Ahead: Block On Travelling Around The Country To End Next Week

The Lynden Pindling International Airport.

The Lynden Pindling International Airport.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

DOMESTIC travel will resume next Monday without the need for a COVID-19 travel card, the Office of the Prime Minister announced yesterday.

The OPM said in a statement: “Commercial airlines are expected to start taking reservations on Tuesday, 2 June, for inter-island flights.

“Passengers travelling from New Providence, Grand Bahama and Bimini by aircraft, mailboat or passenger ferry will be required to complete a standardised travel form and a standardised health form at the time of check-in. These short forms will be used to collect contact information and a COVID-19 risk assessment by health officials.

“The system announced today will replace the application and assessment process that was initially put in place to accommodate inter-island travel, effective immediately. Those who have already applied will receive travel authorisation from the Ministry of Health by email prior to June 8.”

After two months of a COVID-19 lockdown, the pace of reopening the country has quickened in recent weeks, with this news of domestic travel resumption following the recent move to Phase Three of the government’s reopening plan. Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has identified July 1 as the target date for resuming international commercial flights to this country.

In fact, The Bahamas was recently listed among 44 other top holiday destinations that airlines hope abandon a 14-day quarantine rule. The 45-nation list was agreed by British Airways, Easyjet and Virgin Atlantic and sent to ministers in the British government.

“As part of the ongoing and phased reopening of the country, domestic borders will be opened for regular domestic commercial flights and for domestic pleasure craft and yachts,” the OPM said.

“Individuals travelling aboard pleasure craft and yachts leaving from a marina in New Providence, Grand Bahama or Bimini should submit travel and health forms before departing. If leaving from a private dock, individuals will be required to fill out and submit forms at the point of entry. The Ministries of Health and Tourism are developing a digital solution to help to further streamline this process in the weeks ahead.

“Airlines are working to ensure various protocols including enhanced cleaning procedures for aircraft, ensuring that all staff utilise masks/facial coverings. Operational procedures to ensure physical distancing on board the aircraft and during the boarding process will be implemented.

“The Airport Authority and Port Authority have developed various protocols for reopening of domestic travel and will continue to make adjustments as necessary to improve systems. Travellers should note that due to physical distancing protocols, the check-in process may take longer than usual. Please arrive early to check-in.”

In mid-May, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said domestic travel would be facilitated by a COVID-19 travel card.

That reversed policy required individuals to register with the Ministry of Health and submit to an evaluation by a Ministry of Health authorised physician in the public or private sector to determine the presence of any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Islands need their own authority, I am not ready to let flights or boats from Nassau travel here to GB. And definitely not ready for Americans to travel here....

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truetruebahamian 4 months, 3 weeks ago

We will be happy to get back home after over three months and carefully - while heeding all of the now ingrained precautions continue working on the farm and feeding the mosquitos as well as transferring back and forth to Nassau. NO americans though!

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tribanon 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Please, no Americans.....only Chinese from Communist China.

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TalRussell 4 months, 3 weeks ago

It's no joke that In the meantime, under imperialists' redcoats' shelter-at-home law, any and all couples captured having sex who do not shelter together can be fined or even jailed at Fox Hill Prison, and you might have to take your own chair to barber and hairdresser?
Just can't make this crazy up. Just, can't. Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Official strategy. Open up because we've been closed too long. We'll figure everything else out as we go.

This is not hindsight. 3 months ago we said, start planning for the opening now. they just hurry this plan over the weekend.

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ohdrap4 4 months, 3 weeks ago

no they follow a script.

they say the same things politicians say in other countries, like "If it gets worse, we go back to phase 1". I have now watched several othher govts say the same thing.

the script is to open.

Watch, the sars virus disappeared. so will this one. As soon as the antidote is released.

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm sure it will disappear. That's what herd immunity does

The absolutely most puzzling thing about this is DAguilar says it would be crazy to require tourists to be quarantined. So what do you do with a tourist who has a 2 week stay, and on day 3 they come down with a fever and dry cough? The airline won't allow them to fly. They just walk around the straw market and visit hotels beaches and restaurants? I thought DAguilars March comment that we could bring all the cancelled European conventions here and benefit from COVID was a misnomer. Apparently it wasn't, it's just a complete lack of concern for the regular Bahamians. We're expendable in the drive to get great tourist numbers.

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joeblow 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I do not expect a man who could not see the problems alphabetized shopping lists would cause to see the problems that will result from this decision.

My heart goes out to all family islanders for what will inevitably happen and I encourage you, please, save money for emergency medical flights to Nassau!

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ISpeakFacts 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Well said joeblow, I expect alot of deaths to come from Minnis' greed, no thinking whatsoever especially considering we haven't even tested 2,200 people in over THREE MONTHS and he already wants to open out borders to the U.S and Communist China, and neither foreign visiters will be facing quarantine!!!. Then you have to factor in the ongoing most deadly and active 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season and we all know we aren't prepared in any way shape or form for another Dorian!

Its all too clear that Minnis and his buffoons in cabinet have no idea what they're doing, the only thing on their mind at this moment is GRAVY and SPOON!!!

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