Less than a week after the Bahamas’ Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced that the Caribbean nation’s borders would close to commercial air and sea visitors from the United States after seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, a new directive has confirmed that all international visitors are now welcome.
The country’s attorney general clarified the country’s decision on Friday (July 24).
Americans can visit the Bahamas, however, under one condition: that they quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, at their own expense, in a government facility.
Visitors must also take a real time polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 laboratory test at the end of isolation to ensure they are, in fact, virus-free.
The new order applies to all international visitors who choose to visit the Bahamas, including tourists from Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom, who were previously given the green light to enter, pending they provided a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.
The Nassau Guardian first reported the news on Friday after the paper’s reporters took notice of a parliamentary item on visitors that differed from the PM’s previous message.
"Our current situation demands decisive action if we are to avoid being overrun and defeated by this virus," Prime Minister Minnis said in a national address on Sunday, July 19th. "We cannot allow our hospitals to be overrun."
The PM noted that the rate of COVID-19 infections has almost tripled since the Bahamas began reopening its borders on July 1st, with the total number of cases rising to 153.
Attorney General Carl Bethel confirmed the change on Friday in a statement to the press, without offering any explaining for the change of heart, as reported by the Miami Herald.
“The provisions governing the admission of foreign visitors to The Bahamas were changed in order to create a uniform standard of treatment for all Visitors to The Bahamas during this Pandemic Emergency,” the statement said. “The creation of a uniform framework means that there is no longer any need to create any list of countries from which The Bahamas would accept commercial flights; which list thereby excluded other countries.”
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!