More Bahamians set to return home today

Bahamasair announced that it will offer a repatriation flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to New Providence today at 2 p.m.

The flight was originally scheduled for Friday, however, it was rescheduled as a result of “administrative reasons”.

“This flight will only facilitate the return home of Bahamian citizens, residents and those with valid work permits,” Bahamasair said in a statement on Sunday.

“Persons wishing to travel must follow established [protocols].

“Passengers also originally scheduled to travel from Nassau to Fort Lauderdale on Friday, May 29, 2020, are advised that this flight is now rescheduled to leave Nassau on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, at 10 a.m.

“All passengers with confirmed reservations on Friday’s flight will be automatically accommodated on Tuesday’s flight.”

Hundreds of Bahamian citizens and residents remain stuck in the United States.

The Bahamas’ borders were closed on March 27, as the government sought to contain the spread of COVID-19 locally.

On May 8, the prime minister issued the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 3) Order, 2020.

Bahamian citizens and residents are permitted entry into The Bahamas “by international air travel to New Providence or Grand Bahama”.

Those individuals will have to undergo a COVID-19 test prior to returning home or upon arrival in The Bahamas, according to the order.

They will also be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Last week, St. Anne’s MP Brent Symonette said that the government should send daily Bahamasair flights to repatriate Bahamians stuck in South Florida.

“We need now to focus on the repatriation flights and people coming in and out because there is a tension building up there where persons want to get back,” he said while speaking in the House of Assembly.

“We should be flying a Bahamasair flight every day to Miami to pick up Bahamians to bring them back because we need them home and also to be able to take Bahamians to their Family Islands.

“We need to be able to get them back as quickly as possible. I’m sure the prime minister will make sure that that is opened up.”

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