Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands confirmed that two Americans, who are Bahamas residents, were allowed to land on New Providence yesterday despite the closure of The Bahamas’ border.
“They landed and they are being quarantined. And so, we have started the process now of allowing residents and citizens to return,” Sands said.
The Nassau Guardian understands they are being permitted to quarantine at home. The Guardian also understands that they brought in medical supplies.
Meantime, Bahamians seeking to return home will have to show proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19, according to Bahamas Consul General in Miami Linda Treco-Mackey.
“For those who truly desire to go home when the borders open, they have to show proof of testing for COVID-19,” Treco-Mackey told The Guardian yesterday.
On Monday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the government will allow Bahamians to return home. He said all Bahamians returning from the United States will be quarantined at a secure facility upon entry to The Bahamas.
He said the facility will be guarded by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF).
“Mr. Speaker, we know from other jurisdictions how rapidly COVID-19 spread in other countries or locales because individuals who were COVID-19-positive returned to their home countries without being quarantined,” the prime minister said.
“We cannot risk doing this in The Bahamas because this could lead to a wider outbreak of the virus.”
It is unknown whether the permanent residents who returned yesterday were required to show proof that they had tested negative for COVID-19.
The Guardian understands that the two individuals came in on a private aircraft.
On March 27, the government announced that the Bahamian borders will close to all incoming individuals, including citizens and residents, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move was criticized by many, as hundreds of Bahamians were left stuck abroad.
Sands noted yesterday that there are certain exceptions that were being made regarding the border closure.
“There are some exceptional circumstances,” he said. “You have instances where mothers have been separated from their babies and so on and so forth.”
Sands could not say how many Bahamians or residents have been classified as qualifying for exceptions to be made.
For more than a month, The Bahamas has been plagued by the COVID-19 health crisis.
There have been 80 confirmed cases of the virus.
So far, 11 people, who had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.
- Davis accuses Minnis of ‘fearmongering’ - July 9, 2020
- Sands: There is a low risk of catching COVID-19 at the beach - July 9, 2020
- More than 6,000 students to enroll in UB this fall - July 9, 2020