The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced that the government will lift previously imposed COVID-related travel bans when The Bahamas’ borders reopen on July 1.
European countries, China, South Korea and Iran will be impacted by the decision, which was made in consultation with the Ministry of Tourism.
All individuals traveling to The Bahamas after July 1 are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test from an accredited laboratory, the ministry noted.
It said the test cannot be older than 10 days.
The announcement comes less than a week after Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar told The Nassau Guardian that the government was examining the relevance of the travel bans.
“[W]e’re certainly looking at that to evaluate whether that’s still relevant given what has transpired over the last three months,” D’Aguilar said on June 20.
“There are bans for the countries you just mentioned (Iran and China) but also there’s Europe. We’re looking to update and bring current our evaluation of countries based on what has transpired.”
On January 30, the government announced that non-residents coming to The Bahamas who visited China in the last 20 days would not be allowed entry into The Bahamas. Residents entering The Bahamas who had visited China in the last 20 days would face a two-week quarantine.
On March 5, the government said those same restrictions would apply to Iran, South Korea and Italy.
The aforementioned countries were all considered epicenters for the virus during the early stages of the pandemic.
Following the spur of thousands of cases across Europe, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on March 15 that bans would also be imposed for the United Kingdom, Ireland and other parts of the continent.
The Bahamas reported its first case of COVID-19 that same day. So far, 104 cases have been confirmed in The Bahamas.
There are more than 9.1 million cases globally.
The United States and Brazil are the only two countries to have more than one million COVID-19 cases as community spread continues.