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Entry Regulations

EDITOR, The Tribune.

As part-time residents of Nassau we are hoping that your difficult entry rules will soon be changed. We have been attempting to come to our Bahamas property for months but there is so much red tape and difficult, expensive and time consuming measures to complete.

Your story today with comments by The Tourism Minister about the 95% decline in arrivals must not only be frightening to read but not unexpected. We live far away from a health clinic who will actually give us, as healthy persons, a COVID-19 test. It is not only expensive but they are not guaranteeing the results quickly. So we can never fulfill the requirement of being in Nassau by the fifth day after our test. Yet, according to our travel agent, if we were to go to most other Caribbean or Mexican locations we would be there already. They are steering clients away from The Bahamas and advising us to go elsewhere, but owning property ties us down to The Bahamas.

We are also concerned at the attitude of your health professionals who seem to believe that most overseas visitors are carriers of the virus and must be clamped down on. We have little COVID-19 here and are conscious to keep our local health advisories. The great majority of people are healthy. Surely the hoteliers and business people must be taken into consideration. How long can your economy sustain itself without a good increase in tourism? The Minister has given the arrival numbers and talked about the virus affecting tourism. However, he always fails to admit that the current entry rules are deterring visitors. Rosy predictions about a tourism revival will never be achieved until the complex rules are eased and the health visa scrapped. Why is it not possible just to bring test results when we travel?

There must be a proper balance between health and business concerns. We are missing our Bahamian friends and the nice mild weather which makes stays so pleasant in your wonderful country.

RUSSELL JEFFERSON

Augusta Maine, USA

January 7, 2021.

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