EDITOR, The Tribune.
Your recent story about the Bahamian stranded in Canada has once again shed light on the difficulties facing visitors and residents wanting to enter The Bahamas.
We keep hearing reports about the further delays in tourism rebounding. We have read about the major resorts putting all measures into place about testing for COVID-19. The major question is where will the tourists be to reopen the economy?
Absent from all these pronouncements is the reality that the entry rules are so harsh and time consuming that few people can or even want to complete them.
Even the most ardent friends of The Bahamas find it almost impossible to find test centres, wait at least two days for results, scan all this to Nassau with the forms for the Health Visa and then arrive within five days.
With tourism in such decline the few flights available make these requirements even more challenging to complete.
It is pointless for the Tourism Minister and staff to make hopeful statements about the revival of your most important economic business.
Until the rules are eased and the unnecessary delays caused by the Health Visa are eliminated there will be no rebound.
Can anyone seriously imagine that cruise passengers would be willing to go through this process? It is difficult enough for land passengers.
Those of us who own holiday properties justifiably are angry that we cannot come and enjoy our stays due to the incomprehensible policies of your Government.
We understand the health pandemic is worrying Bahamians, but most passengers are willing to bring test results so people would not be arriving who are not well.
Common sense is required immediately.
MARK V JOHNSTONE
February 15, 2021.