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Tourists Need Negative Covid-19 Test From July 1

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Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.

TOURISTS who come to the country when commercial international travel resumes on July 1 will have to present a negative COVID-19 test.

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar made the announcement in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

The current status quo maintains that all visitors and returning residents must have a negative test for entry into Bahamian borders.

However, prior to Wednesday’s announcement, the government had not made a decision on whether this practice would continue on July 1 and afterwards.

Critics had raised concern about a possible rise in cases here once the country fully opens its borders next month, due to a reported spike in COVID-19 cases in many US states and ongoing protests there.

On Wednesday, the tourism minister said the “status quo” on requiring negative tests will remain in place after the July 1 opening, given the spike in US cases, where the bulk of the Bahamas’s tourist market comes from.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Tribune.

Comments

Dawes 3 months, 1 week ago

Well Atlantis may as well join others and close until October, and many local businesses may as well start closing their doors for good.

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avidreader 3 months, 1 week ago

You are so right. When in history have we witnessed whole nations destroying themselves in an effort to contain a disease? The consequences in economic terms are terrifying. There is much confusion and misinformation compounded by an incredible willingness by politicians to copy the actions of other countries without taking into account local conditions.

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chuck 3 months, 1 week ago

Are the tourists arriving between Jun 15 & Jul 1 required to have a negative Covid19 test before entering the country? There have been many arrivals the past three days. Have they been tested? How is this being enforced? Some of us are very worried about spread in small island communities ill equipped to handle such a situation.

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paulhummerman 3 months, 1 week ago

A difficult but wise decision. It's much easier to get tested in the US ($100 a pop) than here, and given the choice between traveling to Florida, where Covid-19 is rife, or to the Bahamas, where there is almost no Covid, many Americans will gladly jump this small extra hurdle. But if, heaven forbid, Covid is as common in the Bahamas as it is in the US, no-one will want to come.

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tribanon 3 months, 1 week ago

Cost is $200+ per test and rising in most major metropolitan areas of the US. And in many states you now need to be referred by a physician for testing. Greed is the hallmark of capitalism in the US. This added cost plus the discomfort associated with the deep nasal test will surely cause many potential tourists to vacation somewhere in the US rather than travel abroad.

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Dawes 3 months, 1 week ago

What is to stop someone getting it after they have the test as they can have the test within 10 days of travelling?

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Proguing 3 months, 1 week ago

So a family of four staying at Atlantis has to pay $800 for the tests? That's not a very good incentive to get tourists coming back.

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immigrant 3 months, 1 week ago

I don’t disagree, but The communication that I have seen thus far is very vague. What kind of test? Rapid? Antibody? A couple that I am friends with have waited over 6 days for their test results.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 1 week ago

Are tests in the US accurate? Dependable? Cousin in Texas definitely has it but every test so far is negative....

Can't trust the donald trump led US.....

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tribanon 3 months, 1 week ago

You also couldn't trust the US government before Trump....he just pulled the curtain back for all to see. Plenty of sunshine combined with Covid-19 might be the best insecticide and disinfectant for all the corrupt officials in DC and state governments in so called "Blue States". Time will tell. One thing is for sure, lately these corrupt officials at just about every level of the Federal and state governments have been scampering in all directions everywhere totally befuddled.

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thps 3 months, 1 week ago

I've heard persons around the world with the same story. They have the symptoms they test negative.

Some of the US ones are also imported. Take Maryland where Gov. Hogan used his wife' South Korea connections to get test 1/2 million kits. S. Korea is one of the world leaders in producing test kits.

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geostorm 3 months, 1 week ago

Look, this disease is not going anywhere anytime soon. Just get yourselves prepared to wear your masks, sanitize your hands and maintain a reasonable amount of space between you and the next person. We can not continue to hold the economy hostage. People have to eat and provide for their families.

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tribanon 3 months, 1 week ago

Tell that to the fearful leisure travellers around the world and especially in North America who are rightfully totally dissatisfied with the pitifully inadequate steps taken by the commercial aviation industry and the cruise ship industry to make travelling safe in a Covid-19 world. Telling people they will be protected by temperature tests, masks and sanitizers while telling them to get on board planes or ships that are very densely packed with other passengers is certainly not the answer they want to hear to their very genuine safety fears.

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SipPis 3 months, 1 week ago

Wow. Maybe they want to lose seats in parliament to even things out a little? I can't think of why else they would do something this crazy. Nobody will come. People don't seem to realize that covid is just the tip of the economic iceberg. Without tourists this country will suffer far more than with Covid. It's simple math.

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thps 3 months, 1 week ago

For how long?

This means no cruises.

Unless the cruises will have everyone present a negative test...doubt it.

.... a consequence of an overly dependent tourism economy

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Clamshell 3 months, 1 week ago

I honestly wonder what sort of moron would board a cruise ship right now.

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thps 3 months, 1 week ago

in a world fo 7billion, i can find you quite a bit.

The number of people doing things during a pandemic that arent advisable is bigger than you think.

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tribanon 3 months, 1 week ago

But those dumber than dumb rioters and looters in major US cities are certainly not the ones with any money to spend as a leisure travellers to the Caribbean region.

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alfalfa 3 months, 1 week ago

A totally useless process. A person travelling is travelling Friday. Gets tested Monday prior to the departure Friday. Test results come back on Wednesday saying you were negative on Monday. Meanwhile you can contract the virus Tue. Wed. Thur. and come in to the country with a negative test, with a full blown virus. What did the testing accomplish?

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tribanon 3 months, 1 week ago

The answer to your question is: "Nadda. Absolutely nothing!"

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lovingbahamas 3 months, 1 week ago

They can kiss the tourists goodbye! No ifs, ands or buts. Atlantis can’t operate with 100 tourists and I doubt they will have that many. What about all the people that booked flights that were told no Covid test necessary beginning July 1? They can’t cancel and she’ll out $800 for tests? Who would trust the Bahamas now? And, it is a huge waste of resources to use 10 day tests. If they really want tourists they are going to have to do like Cyprus where they have rented a hotel and pay the lodging for anyone that tests positive. Don’t stop the carnival!

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tribanon 3 months, 1 week ago

Ya gotta love Minnis.....he can't think past his nose for the life of him. And he's supposedly a medical doctor!

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DD 3 months, 1 week ago

I feel bad for the Minister of Tourism.He knows this will kill business and I understand that there is a lot of pressure on him and the entire administration.He will be known as the Minister of No Tourism.The tests are very expensive and not reliable.If this government continues along these lines the everyday Bahamian will be unable to feed their family and 80% of businesses in the Bahamas will cease to exist.These people saying the US tourist will just have to pay up and they will come here just like before are dead wrong.The people saying that are government employees that have never missed a paycheck.Bahamians believe that every American is rich,compared to the average Bahamian maybe,but they are not stupid.Bahamas just raised the taxes on rentals,clearing in fees,and every thing a tourist would use.People are not going to spend $800 for a family of 4 to test,$500 in fuel,thousands for a cruise to go to a place that is not competitive in price or value with any other destination.

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Clamshell 3 months, 1 week ago

You are correct. The Bahamas was already pushing the envelope of being too expensive for the average American tourist, who, as you note, are neither rich nor stupid. They can do web searches. They know there are better options. We’ve priced ourselves out of the middle-class tourist market.

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tribanon 3 months, 1 week ago

And Communist China was helping us price ourselves out of the North American tourist market even before they unleashed their deadly virus on the world.

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DD 3 months, 1 week ago

I would just like to say this make three complete reversals by the Tourism Ministry on the testing question.Businesses need consistency to plan to make their business work.No one,no one can trust the Bahamian Government for anything,absolutely no credibility.

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lovingbahamas 3 months, 1 week ago

With Bahamar, Sandals and I am sure Atlantis very soon, not opening until November, and no cruise ships until November, how much money is the Bahamas going to have to borrow (if they can even borrow it) to stave off bankruptcy? $3 or 4 billion. The 1 to 1 peg to the dollar will be gone-causing a disaster. Their only answer is to invest in instant testing and open the doors. In some countries, everyone who arrives has to self quarantine for 24 hours until test results are in. Their is a workable solution.

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chuck 3 months, 1 week ago

Don’t you think it’s in our long term economic interests to remain a safe destination for visitors? Also for those who work in the tourist sector and every other resident? If there’s a major outbreak, everything gets locked down again. How can that be good for the economy? IMHO, a safe destination is good for us now and going forward until Covid is no longer an issue.

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Dawes 3 months, 1 week ago

If thats the case then test when people are at the airport and make sure they do not see anyone until the results come back. Or just ban tourism until a vaccine. Sure most of us will lose our jobs but thats a price worth paying.

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bahamianson 3 months, 1 week ago

I am ready for the Bahamas to become another US state. That's the only thing that can save us now.Forget Columbus,The Queen, the Bahamians whom are knighted. No more Sirs, and Dames. Let us all become Americans.

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GMan 3 months, 1 week ago

DD, You right and Bahamian's ain't stupid either. We know our government lies to us. They think we ignorant and keep feeding us bull keeping us in the dark. They looking out for themselves and no one else. We've been through enough the last couple years and keep going backward with no light in sight. I wouldn't blame no-one for not coming here spending money. Now given the changing statements, who would?

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GMan 3 months, 1 week ago

bahamanianson, I am with you.

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DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

No way, BAHAMIANson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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GMan 3 months, 1 week ago

DD, you correct and Bahamian's aint' stupid either. we know our government lies to us. They think we all ignorant. They looking out for themselves. We been through enough the las few years with no hep from our government. I wouldn't blame anyone for not coming here they never know what they gonna get, can't get the same information twice.

Bahamianson you right!!!

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The_Oracle 3 months, 1 week ago

“Thanks, just canceled a week in great harbor. Too complicated to get tested during a specific time span. Then to have to deal with the regular immigration stuff and personnel there is just not worth the trouble. Been going several times a year for several years, always hoped it would get better some time but it doesn't. Now this, not for me.”

From a website forum of 35,000 members, plenty making the above decision.

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Jetflt 3 months, 1 week ago

Mr. Minister - you’re about to kill the tourism business that the Bahamas relies on exclusively to sustain itself.

My family and I live in Florida, and we had plans to visit Nassau and Exuma this Summer as we often do. I’m sorry to say but if you think I’m going to the trouble of getting my family tested so that we can visit the Bahamas, I have news flash for you, Sir - it ain’t happenin’.

Not 20 minutes ago, my wife said let’s go the Mountains instead. DONE!!!

And you can bank on this - as long as Bahamas Immigration is going to require a negative COVID test certificate, we won’t be calling on the Bahamas.

What are you going to do about cruise lines?? You going to tell the cruise lines that every passenger that disembarks must have a negative COVID test certificate. Good luck. The cruise lines are already on life support and if you believe they’re going comply with your requirements, I have more news for you. They will pull the Bahamas from their itinerary quicker than you walk up the stairs of the House of Assembly. I wish and you and your country well.

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ThisIsOurs 3 months, 1 week ago

Sorry you cant make it but one infected person and community spread could collapse our country. We had 20 beds total for quarantine. Our worst case scenario was 200 infected. We need the visitors who love the Bahamas in the good times to love it in the bad. Just letting thousands of people in with no kind of filter is a recipe for disaster.

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DD 3 months, 1 week ago

The government is allowing Caricom nations in with no testing,that’s Jamaica,Tobago,Trinidad,Haiti,and many more.These countries have no reporting,no hospital stats no idea how many cases they have.We have hundreds of thousands Haitians in our country and no one knows how they got here.Plus the government is allowing Chinese immigrate here unchecked and they are worried about US tourists that rarely mix with our Bahamian population?

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GMan 3 months, 1 week ago

dang straight DD! ThisIsOurs you done drank the cool aid. Business as usual going on the states. Our government is just too afraid to make a decision. They did nothing to help us during Dorian and now they are doing nothing to to help us with tourism. Many Bahamians been suffering too long and this will put the nail in the coffin. Shame on them! Brother's and sisters stand up!

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tribanon 3 months, 1 week ago

Yet you will be the first idiot in line at your polling station come the next general election anxiously awaiting your turn to vote for the FNM candidate running in your constituency. LOL

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GMan 3 months, 1 week ago

tribanonn why you got to call someone an idiot? I think all politicians eventually go bad for themselves. I will be forced to vote for the worst to the evils. The current politicians have not done anything for the people just themselves.

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