Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday that the man who recently traveled from Fort Lauderdale to Grand Bahama on Bahamasair after knowingly contracting COVID-19 should not be penalized.
“What is he going to be penalized for?” Davis asked.
“What law has he broken? The only law that I can see that he may have broken or breached is if he didn’t have permission to get on the flight. Then, that’s a matter for the aviation authorities and the authorities in the United States.
“How could a passenger get on a flight without permission? But, I don’t know what law he would’ve breached.”
Davis said the public’s eyes shouldn’t be “pointed” at the passenger during this time.
“He is a Bahamian citizen,” he told The Nassau Guardian.
“Whatever state he is in, he wants to be home and this is his home.”
On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis revealed that the COVID-positive man was among 51 people to fly to Grand Bahama on Friday.
He said the man was traveling with three others and that all four people have been retested for the virus.
The Ministry of Health said yesterday the passenger tested negative for COVID.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is handling an investigation launched by the prime minister into the incident.
“The prime minister has asked that this matter be treated with priority,” it noted.
“Accordingly, the ministry is presently conducting enquiries into all matters surrounding the incident and will report its findings to the prime minister on completion.”
On Monday, Bahamas Consul General in Miami Linda Treco-Mackey told The Guardian that an employee at the consulate gave permission for the passenger to board the Bahamasair flight.
“I have to take responsibility for the consulate because they (Bahamasair) [sought] approval from someone at the consulate and the person at the consulate was not at the level to give that approval, but they did,” she said.
“So, I guess Bahamasair assumed it was okay because the person said it was okay.”
She said it was a “bad judgment call”.