Travelling abroad? Check all travel requirements



THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged travellers to check all entry and transit requirements before international travel due to changing restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

People who are transiting through the United States to get to another country have also been advised the US has bans on travel from some areas. Travellers are urged to have the necessary information before travel to avoid delays, disappointment, possible rerouting and unexpected costs.

The statement said the government will not be responsible for covering the costs of those persons who find themselves stranded.

This comes as the Pan American Health Organization has warned against international travel unless absolutely necessary.

“During this period of the pandemic, there continues to be restrictions, a need for negative tests or proof of full vaccination, quarantine requirements and border closures in many parts of the world,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “In some cases, quarantining may last as many as 21 days. Members of the public are strongly advised to check thoroughly the website of each country, or, if booking via a travel agent, to make sure the agent checks to see if entry is possible at every leg of travel.

“Given that a significant amount of travel involves transit through the United States, the ministry wishes, in particular, to draw attention to the fact that there are a number of countries where travellers are not permitted to enter or transit the United States. Even if in possession of a valid US visa, travellers will not be able to enter the US if they are travelling from a country where a ban is imposed at this time. Countries where bans are in place at this time include some from Africa and Europe. Travellers are urged to obtain information from the website of the United States Department of State or the Center for Disease Control prior to travel.”

Yesterday, PAHO officials recommended that international travel should not take place unless it is absolutely necessary.

The advice came during PAHO’s weekly webinar.

Asked if the cruise industry is at risk seeing that COVID cases are surging in the region, Dr Ciro Ugarte, PAHO’s director of health emergencies, said his organisation has been in touch with authorities in the region on that subject.

“Tourism and other areas of the economy need to resume in the Caribbean,” Dr Ugarte said. “We have been in contact with all the member states to advise them on how to move on resuming tourism, with specific recommendations on how to approach the cruise ship industry and also the ports where visitors will be.

“We have been discussing their risk analysis, for example the areas where tourists will go, the transmission, the availability of health services, the testing capacity and the surveillance units. On the other hand there is the recommendation for tourists not to begin international travel unless it is necessary and if it is necessary to take all the precautions.”

Over the past week, the region reported over 1.5 million new COVID-19 cases and nearly 20,000 related deaths.

Three countries – the US, Mexico and Brazil – had the highest number of cases, although COVID-19 cases continue to be reported across the region.

Along with The Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and smaller Caribbean islands like Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have reported steep increases in new infections and deaths.

• FIVE more people have been added to the COVID-19 death toll, according to the Ministry of Health.

The country’s death rate from the virus is now 343.

The Ministry of Health’s August 23 dashboard shows that the five latest victims are all New Providence residents who died in August and are all under the age of 55.

The deceased includes a 36-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man who both died on August 11; a 44-year-old man who died on August 12; a 55-year-old man who died on August 13 and a 40-year-old woman who died on August 16.

In total, 47 other deaths are under investigation.

Officials also said 102 new cases were confirmed on August 24, bringing the nation’s toll to 17,717. Seventy new cases were confirmed a day earlier on August 23.

One hundred and forty-seven people are in hospital with the virus.


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