Warning that The Bahamas could be entering the worst phase of the pandemic, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis announced a number of measures to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, including changes to the travel rules and limitations on gatherings.
Davis said his administration is operating on the assumption that the more transmissible Omicron variant is already in The Bahamas.
As a result, he said travelers will be required to test negative for COVID-19 three days of entering the country, instead of five.
Additionally, he said as of January 7, a negative PCR test will be required for all international travelers, including Bahamians and residents.
As it relates to gatherings, Davis said effective immediately, no more than 30 people will be allowed at outdoor gatherings and no more than 20 people will be allowed at indoor gatherings.
He said hundreds of thousands of medical grade masks will be distributed across the country in the next few days.
“The number of cases here is likely to go up quickly,” he said, noting that hospitals are being overwhelmed by new cases in the United States.
“Omicron is so contagious; we could be entering the worst phase of the pandemic.”
The Bahamas recorded 140 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, in what was the largest single-day count in months.
Davis said the Davis administration will be working with healthcare professionals and the Bahamian people in general.
“We are all in this together,” he said. “Everyone is ready to put COVID behind them.”
“Unfortunately the virus has changed so our behavior has to change too.”
He called on Bahamians to adjust their thinking and to get vaccinated.