Prime Minister of The Bahamas Dr Hubert Minnis. (GP)
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NASSAU – The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation says that it is now preparing for the second phase of the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, which will begin on Wednesday, July 1 and allow for the resumption of international travel to The Bahamas.
According to the ministry, plans continue to evolve in response to novel coronaviru (COVID-19) trends, but some of the guidelines in place include having all visitors presenting a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test upon arrival.
However, the results must be no more than ten days old.
Meanwhile, select individuals will be exempt from testing, which includes children under the age of two, private pilots who do not deplane, and Bahamian citizens, residents and homeowners returning from English speaking CARICOM countries.
As part of Phase 2, hotels and vacation rentals, including Airbnb and HomeAway will open to guests and domestic and International airlines are permitted to resume service.
So far, Delta Airlines has announced that it will be resuming its twice daily Atlanta to Nassau service on July 2.
United Airlines announced its daily Houston to Nassau service will resume July 6 and the Saturday-only Denver to Nassau service will resume July 11.
American Airlines will resume flights to Nassau and Exuma on July 7 and Air Canada is scheduled to resume flights from Toronto to Nassau on July 3.
The Ministry says that additional airlift resumptions are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Once on island, travellers should expect to follow The Bahamas’ “Healthy Traveler Campaign” that encourages both visitors and residents to continue practicing social distancing measures, regularly wash hands or use hand sanitisers, and pack appropriate PPE such as face masks, just as they would their swimsuits and sunscreen.
The Ministry added that a certification agency has been established – representing a collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, and other regulatory agencies – to enforce a Clean & Pristine certification programme across the islands.
“Reopening of borders will continue to be monitored and guided by The Bahamas government and health officials. Reopening dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 trends, if there is a deterioration in improvement or if government and health organizations deem these phases unsafe for residents or visitors,” the statement noted.
“The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation believes it is an absolute baseline requirement for consumers to have a comfort level that The Bahamas is a safe and healthy destination to visit, and the ultimate goal is for that to remain the case.” (CMC)