One hundred and thirty-five Bahamians come home

Another 135 Bahamians and residents returned home from abroad on a Bahamasair repatriation flight on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a statement released yesterday, the ministry said that 14 of the 60 people who returned to Grand Bahama and 42 of the 75 who returned to New Providence are being quarantined at the respective government-designated facilities.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform members of the general public that the repatriation flight of 23 May was successful in returning 135 nationals and residents, as well as three infants, to The Bahamas,” the statement read.

“The Bahamasair flight, which originated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, first touched down in Grand Bahama, where 60 persons disembarked. Thereafter, it flew to New Providence, where the remainder of the persons disembarked.

“The consul general and staff members of The Bahamas Consulate, Miami, were present at the airport in Fort Lauderdale to monitor the process until the flight departed. Also present were two doctors from the Ministry of Health who verified the COVID-19 test results.

“Returning nationals and residents were met in Grand Bahama and New Providence by government officials, inclusive of senior staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health. All returning nationals and residents were taken to the government quarantine facilities in both Grand Bahama and New Providence, where assessments took place to determine who would be placed in quarantine and who would be permitted to self-quarantine.

“With respect to those placed in the government quarantine facilities, there are 14 persons in the Grand Bahama facility and 42 in the New Providence facility, respectively.”

This is now the second set of repatriation flights to bring home Bahamians and residents who have been stuck abroad since the country’s borders were closed in late March in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The repatriation exercise had been temporarily suspended after the first set on May 8, after it was revealed that a passenger traveling to Grand Bahama had tested positive for COVID-19.

That man was later assessed by health officials, who said they determined that he did not pose a threat to the other passengers.

With repatriation flights having been resumed, it has not yet been announced as to when the next set of flights will be taking place.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs encouraged the hundreds of Bahamians and residents still stuck abroad to “listen out for flight details should they become available”.

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