Tests remain for unvaccinated


Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

By Earyel Bowleg

Tribune Staff Reporter


TOURISM, Investments and Aviation Minister Chester Cooper said that a change to the requirement for unvaccinated travellers to be tested for COVID-19 is not being considered at present.

Mr Cooper commented after the removal of the testing requirement for people who are vaccinated, and the scrapping of the travel health visa. He said he thinks the current requirements are consistent with international standards and the government is going to continue to require testing for unvaccinated people.

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville announced last Wednesday the removal of the requirement for vaccinated people entering The Bahamas to be tested. Before that, Mr Cooper had revealed the end of the travel health visa. Both changes took place on Sunday.

 Yesterday, before the weekly Cabinet meeting, Mr Cooper said: “There’s no consideration for changing the requirement for unvaccinated travellers at the moment. Our government’s policy is that we recommend vaccination. We’re asking the Bahamian public to consider vaccination to speak with their doctors to determine whether it’s appropriate for them to be vaccinated.

 “We’re at around 50 percent vaccination in The Bahamas. We hope that this number will increase and certainly we want to encourage vaccinated travellers to come to our country. This is why we’ve eliminated the requirement and certainly if we are encouraging Bahamians to vaccinate we would want that to be also the case for tourists coming to our shores.”

 The government has repeatedly encouraged people to get the jab citing the benefits of being vaccinated. When asked if the position for the unvaccinated travellers was discriminatory, Mr Cooper said: “I think our requirements are consistent, they’re consistent with international standards and we’re going to continue along this path of requiring testing for persons who are not vaccinated. This is in line with the science. It’s in line with international best practice and we don’t particularly want to be outliers on this issue.

 “We have to protect the health and safety of our guests and the health and safety of our residents and we want to ensure that if our guests become ill the chance of serious illness is reduced. We are managing the capacity at our hospital, for example, and we want to ensure that, as the science suggests, that if one of them would get COVID that the likelihood of serious illness is diminished.”

 Mr Cooper said there had been a positive response to the removal of testing for vaccinated travellers so far.

 He said: “My information is the airlines welcome this decision. Certainly the travellers welcome this decision - a hassle-free process for residents and our tourists to come to our shores. It’s going exceptionally well. This, of course, is only day two since we’ve lifted these requirements and I expect over the next few couple of days there might be some teething issues where communication may not have been filtered to the front desk at an airport for example - but so far so good.”


CoolCatBD 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Will The Bahamas use the Pfizer Kids vaccine, two-shot plan or the three-shot plan?

Will there be a national lottery, or will it be first come first serve?

If an adult in his mid-30s, who is fully Vox and fully boosted, and has to wait another three months, for a full dose of vaccine, if a child doesn't show up, for their appointment, so it doesn't go to waste, can the adult get the kids shot has a little top up?


carltonr61 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Conjecture cannot be tested in the lab coolbd. You sound like a snake elixir who pump Vax in veins for profit. I rely on science-based evidence that vaccines should be tested on animals similar to humans for at least two generations of reproduction for a minimum of ten years before testing on innocent children which is a war crime.



FreeportFreddy 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Good source...for lighting a fire!!!


DDK 1 month, 2 weeks ago

If 50% of Bahamians did not give in to the vaccination propaganda and pressure, that means there is still plenty money to be made for covid tests.....


sheeprunner12 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Medical apartheid in action. Social injustice at its worse.


tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The testing requirement for unvaccinated individuals now has no basis in scientific evidence whatsoever and therefore is both discriminatory and unconstitutional. Chester the Jester is making one big joke of himself!


Bobsyeruncle 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Don't worry. According to you, all of us fully vaxxed individuals will be dead in a couple of years anyway. After we're worm food, you can do what the hell you like. - lol


tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

You really should be more concerned about what the 'real' science has since revealed about those experimental vaccines.


tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The vast majority of Bahamians are only too happy to be "flat earthers" as you call them, especially given what they have since learned about the real motives behind the experimental vaccines.


ted4bz 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Almost three years later, not one single DATA/DNA collection test have I taken, and, I will NEVER!


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