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Bahamas begins continuous repatriation flights from Florida starting Friday

Continuous repatriation flights from Fort Lauderdale to New Providence and Grand Bahama will take place every Tuesday and Friday for the rest of the month, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The flights, which are serviced by way of Bahamasair as was done previously, will begin this Friday, June 12.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs specified that it is “facilitating the return of Bahamian nationals and residents” on these flights.

“Nationals and residents are required to take the COVID-19 PCR test with a negative result prior to departure,” the statement read.

“The test result should be sent in advance to the Ministry of Health at covid19travel@bahamas.gov.bs. Nationals and residents are also required to send their Bahamian addresses and telephone contacts to the Ministry of Health at the same email address.”

A separate statement by Bahamasair provided further details on the schedule, stating: “Flights leaving FLL (Fort Lauderdale) on Tuesdays will make an initial stop in Freeport before returning to Nassau.

“Flights leaving FLL on Fridays will return directly to Nassau. This schedule will be for the period June 12, 2020 to June 30, 2020.”

It added, “Tickets are priced at $150 (FLL/NAS). 

“Bahamasair also advises that persons wishing to travel from New Providence to Fort Lauderdale can confirm bookings on the outbound flights. Flights are available for booking on our website www.bahamasair.com.”

Bahamasair repatriation flights are also scheduled from Cuba today, and from Turks and Caicos tomorrow, with respective citizens of each country having the option to book those flights if they wish to return home, the Bahamasair statement noted.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, another repatriation flight is being organized from Haiti and information will be available on the airline’s website.

“As soon as other flights are arranged, the ministry will advise members of the public accordingly,” it stated. 

Hundreds of Bahamians have been stuck abroad since mid-March when the government decided to close the country’s borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Several repatriation flights on Bahamasair have taken place within the last month, with the requirement that passengers present proof of testing negative for the virus and, in some instances, submitting to quarantine at a government-approved facility.

As travel restrictions slowly began easing for inter-island travel, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced last week that Bahamians and residents returning to the country will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival. 

The tourism industry is also expected to begin reopening as of June 15, with a full reopening of the borders slated for July 1. 

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