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Rapid Tests To Replace Quarantine From Nov 1

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

TOURISTS and returning residents will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in The Bahamas and again four days later as part of new rules that will take effect on November 1 and eliminate the need for travellers to quarantine.

The tourists and returning residents will need a RT-PCR negative test result that is no older than seven days to qualify for the travel visa, a revision of the current five-day requirement.

In early September, the Ministry of Tourism said it was recommending hotels throughout the country resume full operations and use of beaches on October 15.

At the time, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said visitors would be required to quarantine at their choice of lodging for 14 days or the duration of their stay, which he branded as a “vacation in place” experience.

However, the unwillingness of visitors to visit the country and quarantine sparked the new rules.

The ministry said in a statement yesterday: “While 15 October is still set for the reopening of the tourism sector, until 31 October all incoming visitors must ‘vacation in place’ for 14 days or the duration of stay, whichever is shorter, which means limiting the vacation experience to the grounds and amenities of a traveller’s hotel or accommodations.

“Beginning 1 November, The Bahamas will remove the mandatory ‘vacation in place’ requirement for all visitors, returning citizens and residents, thereby enabling everyone to move about and explore the destination beyond the confines of their hotel or other accommodations.”

All people entering the country will receive rapid antigen tests in The Bahamas which are considered less reliable and less costly than the standard RT-PCR tests.

The cost of the tests will be included in the cost of the travel visa. Officials expect test results to be produced within 20 minutes.

“All persons entering The Bahamas, at an approved port of entry, will receive a rapid COVID-19 antigen test,” the ministry said.

“If arriving by air, an approved port of entry will be: Nassau, Freeport, Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera, George Town (Exuma), Bimini (and Cat Cay) and San Andros (Andros).

“If arriving by sea, an approved port of entry will be: Nassau (Atlantis, Bay Street Marina, Lyford Cay, and Albany); Grand Bahama (West End – Old Bahama Bay and Freeport – Lucaya); Abaco (Marsh Harbour Government Dock); Eleuthera (Spanish Wells Marina); Berry Islands (Chubb Cay Club); Bimini (Big Game Club and Cat Cay Club); Exuma (George Town Government Dock).

“American Airlines has indicated that, beginning in late October, they wish to provide each passenger travelling to The Bahamas from Miami with a rapid COVID-19 antigen test before boarding the plane. These passengers, along with the passengers of any other airlines wishing to provide a similar service, will not be required to complete the rapid test upon arrival in The Bahamas.”

The Ministry of Tourism notes that 96 hours after arrival, all persons who entered The Bahamas and who are staying longer than four nights and five days, will be required to take a second rapid COVID-19 antigen test.

Visitors who leave the country on day five of their stay will not be required to obtain this test.

Children under 10 are exempt from obtaining the RT-PCR test.

Comments

tribanon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

All people entering the country will receive rapid antigen tests in The Bahamas which are considered less reliable and less costly than the standard RT-PCR tests.

The developer of the China Virus rapid test (Abbott Labs) readily acknowledges that it gives an incorrect negative test result 20% of the time.

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ohdrap4 3 months, 3 weeks ago

20% of the time in the long run.

That is actually the same reliability of your diabetes blood test machine.

If that is good enough to monitor diabetes, it should be good enough for covid.

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whogothere 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I m sorry tribanon but this completely false information. Abott tests are among the tests with highest the accuracy...

‘ One of the most popular antibody tests in the US, the Abbott Architect test, had 97.2% sensitivity and 100% specificity when administered at least two weeks after a person's symptoms started, the review found. That means false positives were more likely than false negatives. But the results from the manufacturer indicate the opposite: that the test is 100% sensitive and 99.6% specific, according to the FDA.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.busi...">https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.busi...

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tribanon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

https://www.abbott.com/coronavirus/co...">https://www.abbott.com/coronavirus/co...

You will note the following posted at the end of the linked web page:

These tests have not been FDA cleared or approved. These tests have been authorized by FDA under EUAs for use by authorized laboratories and have been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 or detection of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and not for any other viruses or pathogens. These tests are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.

Abbott's rapid test has not been cleared and approved by the FDA because it does not yet meet the reliability requirements typically required of the FDA.

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whogothere 3 months, 3 weeks ago

You do know what EUA MEANS RIGHT? This proves the inaccuracy of your initial statement. FDA is allowing this product because of emergency situations and explains while not 100% It’s close to it...definitely not the quoted 20% Inaccuracy rate you pulled out of thin air. Which I corrected you on. Please provide evidence that the Abbott test is incorrect 20% of the time! Because kinda sounds like BS...

https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/c...">https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/c...

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tribanon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Most Bahamians are not stupid and can simply use google to ascertain the facts on this matter for themselves as posted on many websites like the one below.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavi...">https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavi...

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whogothere 3 months, 3 weeks ago

This is dated in MAY have and thus predates the fda Assement and Abbott’s current confirmed accuracy. The link fda link I shared with you is dated today... You do know how Calandar works right? What evidence do you that your initial statement is correct?

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tribanon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

As I said, most Bahamians are quite capable of fully researching for themselves the rapid test reliability issues, even as of today. We'll just have to agree not to agree and leave it to others to determine for themselves.

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Bobsyeruncle 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, and some will see your inaccurate statement as part of their research, and then believe it.
Any test or medication approved under Emergency Use Authorization, is unlikely to have met the full approval criteria normally required by the appropriate regulatory body. However, it will have at least met the minimum criteria for being deemed safe & effective. Abbott Labs rapid test might not be perfect, but it's a good weapon to have in your arsenal

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trueBahamian 3 months, 3 weeks ago

So, we are allowing for a test that isn't so reliable. Interesting! Instead if trying to figure out how to handle the situation, this dumb Minister just simply moves from one point to the next. So, 14 days quarantine he finally got the memo just how stupid that was. So, now he moves to another half-assed idea. Why doesn't he consult medical.experts and tourism experts to see how this can be done safely? He is a textbook case of the statement, when you're dumb you're dangerous.

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ohdrap4 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Please write off the medical experts. 93 hospitalization and the woman was freaking out on tv this pm.

It has been proven that lockdowns do mot work. Tell the doctors to sit small.

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SP 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Typical of the Bahamas. We're always so busy reinventing the wheel that we can't get out of our own way. I suggested this weeks ago. This was always the only solution. We're moving in the right direction but at a snail's pace!

We also need to seriously look at Panama's tourism model. Every visitor to Panama pays a mandatory minimal "tax" for health care. This ensures that if a visitor requires medical attention, medivac, etc', the country has state of the art facilities and ample funds.

It is obvious this scheme not only allows Panama to continually provide high-end services for citizens and visitors but is also a huge profit center for the country!

An initiative like this would rapidly provide funding to totally revamp our medical services without borrowing. This is another no brainer that the "financial task force" completely missed!

Let's see if the Bahamas government has enough common sense to copy Panama!

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