Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Phillip Brave Davis yesterday accused the government of turning its back on Bahamians who are stuck abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic after allowing two Americans with Bahamian residency to return home.
“…You ought to not discriminate with Bahamian citizens and other legal residents,” Davis said when called for comment.
“From day one, I’ve been complaining about the abdication of their responsibility to look after our citizens. From day one, I’ve continued crying to let our people come home and this is home.”
He added, “They are in what they call foreign land. It just tells you now that rules for this government seem to apply to special interest entities or groups other than to us, the ordinary Bahamians.”
His comments came after The Nassau Guardian revealed that two Americans, who are Bahamas residents, were allowed to land on New Providence on Wednesday despite the closure of The Bahamas’ border. The Guardian understands that they brought in medical supplies.
The incident occurred as hundreds of Bahamians remain trapped in countries like the United States and Jamaica.
Davis said, “I’m sure we could arrange for the Bahamians to come home, too, if that’s what it takes.
“If you leave your citizens abroad, saying, ‘Well, you can’t come home. You’re not going to come home,’ and you continually insist on that and then we are seeing persons, other citizens, being able to return home, what am I to say? You have turned your back. You have abandoned me.”
On Wednesday, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said the two Americans were being quarantined.
The Guardian understands they are being permitted to quarantine at home.
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.
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.
It is unknown whether the permanent residents who returned on Wednesday 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.