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Don’T Travel: As Pm Confirms Full Re-Opening, He Begs - Don’T Go Overseas

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis urged residents yesterday not to travel overseas for non-essential travel and outlined revised rules for entry to the country.

He said that, beginning July 7, PCR COVID-19 tests that have negative results must be taken no later than seven days prior to the date of arrival, scrapping the previous policy requiring that tests be no later than ten days old. He said ten day old tests will be accepted until July 7.

“We have made the window of time for testing shorter for the protection of Bahamians and residents,” he said during a national address.

He said Bahamians and residents returning to the country from countries where they cannot obtain a PCR test must show that the test is unavailable and will be subjected to mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

He also said Bahamians and residents returning to the country after 72 hours or less are not required to produce a negative test result but can be tested in the country at their own cost. “Because of the difficulty in obtaining a PCR COVID-19 test result within three days, Bahamians and residents returning home from a trip abroad over a period of 72 hours or less are exempted from having to provide a PCR COVID-19 negative test result to re-enter the country. However, these travellers will have to quarantine for two weeks upon their return home. In both instances, the period of quarantine time may be reduced if the traveler opts to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in The Bahamas and the result is negative. The traveler will be responsible for the cost of the test,” he said.

Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis criticised Dr Minnis’ address, saying the country got “self-promotion and puffery, FNM rally talk and politics” instead of an exit strategy from the state of emergency.

Mr Davis said: “Right now (the prime minister) proposes to open this economy with the virus raging in Florida. It is clear that the economy must be opened but it also clear that what is required is an unambiguous plan for fully protecting the Bahamian people when the economy is opened. It appears to us that the prime minister has simply gotten drunk with the power of the proclamations and is enjoying the use of dictatorial powers so much he simply cannot and will not let go.”

Although international travel will resume on Wednesday, attractions and excursion tours can only reopen on July 13 while straw vendors and Jet Ski operators can resume operations on on July 27.

This week’s reopening of the country’s borders comes as the United States continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases. Cases have surged in Florida for instance, a state where many Bahamians travel for quick getaways. Critics have asked the Minnis administration to reconsider reopening the country’s borders in light of this increased risk.

“We are reopening because we must carefully balance the health, economic and social needs of our people in order to secure our country in the medium and long-term,” Dr Minnis said yesterday, as he touted the country’s success in keeping COVID-19 rates low.

“We have to reopen to get more Bahamians back to work and to get businesses and the economy back to work. Like a number of other countries, we are reopening because we have been successful in arresting the community spread of COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

“Because we acted boldly and firmly, we are able to reopen our society and economy in a safer manner than many other jurisdictions, which are now suffering great loss of life, scores of deaths, hospitalisations and greater uncertainty.”

Even as he outlined policies for reopening of the country’s borders, Dr Minnis strongly urged people not to travel overseas.

“If you are thinking of travelling for non-essential or non-emergency reasons, please, I beg you, stay at home at this time,” he said. “Please stay at home. A number of the cities and areas Bahamians and residents like to frequent in neighbouring countries and cities are experiencing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases. Many of these are hotspots where this very contagious virus is widespread. If you travel to these areas and go to malls, shops, restaurants and other establishments you might catch the virus. You could bring the virus home and community spread could start again. Let me be as clear as I can: your actions can damage the health of others and your actions could help worsen our economy if we have to lockdown again.”

The country’s COVID-19 count stands at 104. A new confirmed case has not been reported for 14 days, Dr Minnis said yesterday, adding that is has been 53 days since a case was recorded on Grand Bahama and 43 days since a case was recorded on Bimini.

There have been 11 COVID-19 related deaths.

Comments

Chucky 1 month, 2 weeks ago

We will have 500 active cases in 2 weeks, or more!

Lockdown will have been all for nothing.

People with no food no money, all for nothing!

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 2 weeks ago

No way in hell will we have 500 active cases, this country can barely test 5 people per day LMAO

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joeblow 1 month, 2 weeks ago

... the only hope here is that people have been exposed, had no symptoms and have antibodies that may reduce the risk of them getting it again. Remember 80% of those infected have zero symptoms. Its those who followed the rules and stayed at home who may be at the highest risk during a second wave!

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thps 1 month, 2 weeks ago

"You could bring the virus home and community spread could start again. Let me be as clear as I can: your actions can damage the health of others and your actions could help worsen our economy if we have to lockdown again.”"

If we are advising Bahamians not to travel if they don't have to because they can bring it )even though there are protocols in place), I take it we've asked tourists to not either.

A tourist traveling in taking a test or quarantining poses risks, varied but risks, just as a Bahamian traveling and either taking a test or quarantining.

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 2 weeks ago

"Let me be as clear as I can: your actions can damage the health of others and your actions could help worsen our economy if we have to lockdown again."

This is coming from the mouth of Dr. Idiot Minnis aka the Supreme Ruler, sounds like he should take his own advice LMAO! Minnis at this point shouldn't even be qualified as a "doctor", no sane doctor could ever be this idiotic, Im starting to wonder if Minnis even has any brain remnants left in his head or did the chinese virus fry everything inside his empty skull?

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Minnis is the biggest idiot to ever walk this earth, I truly believe he needs to be deported to Red China along with the rest of his good for nothing cronies, the only thing they know how to do is lick the boots of their Chinese master, aka the most ruthless and nasty leader Xi Jinping! I know its a hard thing for him to do, but Minnis needs to use his peanut sized brain and realise that HIS stupid ideas are going to get many people killed, he needs to see what the EU is doing, they've closed borders with the U.S because of how bad the Chinese Virus situation is over there. But to no surprise It seems the most Dishonourable Dr. Hubert "Idiot" Minnis wants to take after Jamaica and bring in a ton of imported cases of Chinese Virus into our country after opening our borders to the U.S, let alone South Florida! Only a fool would dare do such an idiotic thing, and to no surprise Minnis plays the fool like no other!!!

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moncurcool 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Could someone tell me what in the world Davis wants to be said? Everything from him is a complaint, but he never offers one single piece of sensible advice on what should be done. I am convinced now that he just talks to want to be heard, without thinking what is coming out of his mouth.

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Sounds like Minnis, both he and Gravy Davis are unfit to be leaders, both would fit much better behind prison bars!!!

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TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The real who, what, and why so much determined for now must remain a hidden behind the face(s) masked mystery. Are they internal or of external comrade forces? Maybe a combination of both? Corporate or individuals?
There is no other red power behind the actions of The PMfive and his red coats House elected MP's. We just need to rush quickly to uncover the who else could it possibly be and what is their master plan for why so damn determined to rush to drag the Tourism COVID-19 tiger across The Colony's borders, and regardless of added prospects escalating dead bodies unofficial count. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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joeblow 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Minnis has never been one to think things through. Other countries are discouraging their people from traveling abroad in the same way he wants to discourage us, so what's the point of rushing to re-open?

He also continues to show an over reliance on the PCR test and will not do antibody testing which is unreasonable. We do not know how vulnerable we may be to a second wave of this virus nor has government shared its plan for its response if we do have a major surge in the next few weeks. Maybe we can get lucky and the second wave will pass through the HOA!

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Dr. Idiot Minnis is too busy chasing the gravy, he probably already forgot that hurricane season is currently in play, we in no way shape or form can handle another Dorian-type disaster along with a widespread outbreak of chinese virus in our country!!!

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The thing is, limiting 400k persons from travelling but encouraging 4 billion to come here.. Its counterintuitive. I will give them that this isn't easy. But opening to kick start the economy could kill it. The hotels realized this and back pedalled away from the July 1 reopening date faster than you could say I going to get some boil fish.

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tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Minnis has made a most grave error in judgement here. He should have kept our borders closed to international travel at least until August 1. Even the major hotel operators on New Providence & PI now recognize that too few tourists will be coming our way in July and August to justify their re-opening for business. Some of the few tourists who dare to travel our way starting July 1 will almost certainly ignite another spreading and surge of the Covid-19 virus in the Bahamas.

As a result of Minnis's misguided decision to pre-maturely re-open our country to international travellers, most of whom will be transiting through South Florida, we will be experiencing by mid-July a very significant surge of Covid-19 hospitalizations similar to what South Florida is now experiencing from the pre-mature re-opening of Florida's economy. Minnis seems oblivious to the fact that his decision will surely imperil the lives of many elderly Bahamians, especially those with underlying existing medical conditions. Is putting the lives of many of our more vulnerable Bahamians at great risk really worth the very few tourist dollars that will flow into our economy in the month of July? Come on Minnis, where's your heart? Where's your soul? Do you really want this kind of blood on your hands?

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Well said mudda, but remember Minnis doesn't even have a brain, let alone a soul or a heart!!!

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DDK 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Sounds like new Mudda twins🌞

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

Newcomer @tribanon sounds more like me whereas @ISpeakFacts just tries to hard to sound like me. But they're both not me. They say imitation is the best form of flattery, but I'm not too flattered by @ISpeakFacts. Been at my Montana ranch for months now hiding out from the Red China Virus and making a mint from trading stock puts and calls. The Trib didn't renew my contract to keep the rest of you stimulated so consider me retired.

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 1 week ago

The LIES!!! Lil ol mudda pops out the closet the minute his name is mentioned, anyone with a brain knows that you are indeed user @tribanon, for someone in Montana you seem to care alot when your name is mentioned on the tribune website!

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tribanon 1 month, 1 week ago

He certainly doesn't like you, but at least he seems to like me. LOL

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

ISpeakFacts has a serious anti-Minnis agenda that will not end well in the present era ............

The cold reality is that The Bahamas Government needs every TOURISM dollar that it can get at this moment and re-opening to whatever niche market that is willing to come here at great "cost" is the only solution to our $1.6 billion budget deficit ........... it is not FACTS, its survival.

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tetelestai 1 month, 1 week ago

Sheeprunner, what is the point of saving the economy, if your citizens end up in the hospital and you reignite the virus? Not trying to be snarky, asking truly for a cogent explanation.

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Honestman 1 month, 1 week ago

Opening up our borders as early as 1st July is a huge risk relative to the potential gain. The major hotels are not opening up until much later and so why put our citizens at risk unnecessarily? I believe the Cayman Islands are not opening up until September. We can see from our TV screens that the USA is a COVID disaster zone right now and Florida is one of the worst affected states. So again, why are we rushing to accommodate US tourists at this time? I know managing this crisis is a huge challenge for government and people without jobs are hurting. However, the country will be in a much worse state if infections take hold, our hospitals become overwhelmed and we have to shut down all over again. So I say, let America get its act together first then open up to their tourists. We would be better off suffering another few months of pain than having to go through the whole lockdown process all over again and end up being blacklisted as an unsafe holiday destination.

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

My point exactly ........ the Covid footprint will be miniscule if we do not let in large numbers, use stringent Covid rules and maximize the dollar impact with the niche tourism markets (marinas, ecotourism, rural escapes, solo tours etc) ......... minimize contact and maximize spend ....... pigs, flamingos, turtles, birds, bonefish, BNT parks, blueholes, and historic sites cannot catch Covid, but they can surely rake in FX cash.

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tribanon 1 month, 1 week ago

Minnis and D'Aguilar will most assuredly be made the greatest fools the Bahamas has ever known if and when this Covid-19 saga ends. Within a few short weeks after July 1, both Minnis and D'Aguilar are going to be personally responsible for a massive surge in Covid-19 hospitalizations that totally overwhelms what little resources are available to medical doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare workers within our very resource constrained public and private healthcare systems.

Bluntly put, the very foolish decision of Minnis and D'Aguilar to pre-maturely re-open our borders to international travellers at a time when Florida and many other states in the US are awash with escalating Covid-19 hospitalizations is tantamount to a death sentence for many elderly Bahamians and those already suffering from serious underlying medical conditions.

Great leaders always rise to the occasion in the worst of times. Minnis on the other hand has been found truly wanting in that regard and may as well just step aside and quietly lie by the wayside. He's sadly done all of us enough harm to last many enslaved Bahamians generations to come.

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