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Returning Family Islanders will have to quarantine at govt facility

Bahamas Consul General in Miami Linda Treco-Mackey said yesterday Family Islanders returning to The Bahamas from the United States will have to be quarantined at a government facility upon arrival in The Bahamas.

“A flight would go from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau and then to Freeport,” Treco-Mackey told The Nassau Guardian.

“If you’re from another island, you will be going into Nassau — unless you have a family member that is willing to allow you to stay with them or you have another means — [and] you will have to go in government quarantine.”

She said Family Island residents will not be allowed to travel to their respective islands because the government hasn’t opened up the islands to domestic flights.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said Bahamian citizens and residents returning to The Bahamas will be given the option to quarantine either at home or at a government facility. He had initially said Bahamians returning from the United States would have to be quarantined at a facility that would be guarded by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF).

The government closed the Bahamian borders on March 27, including to citizens and Bahamas residents. It has now come up with a protocol to allow citizens and residents to return.

Last week, Treco-Mackey said more than 400 Bahamians were seeking to return home.

Yesterday, when asked how many Bahamians will be returning to The Bahamas, she told The Guardian, “I think we’re going to probably end up having at least 200.”

Treco-Mackey said the flights will likely take place on Friday.

“We have a priority list,” she said.

She added, “We have essential workers because we have some essential workers who were stranded. We have those who have medical conditions and students.”

Asked how many flights were scheduled, Treco-Mackey replied, “We’re pretty sure we’ll have at least two. We’re hoping for three: Fort Lauderdale to Nassau, Fort Lauderdale to Freeport and I’m not sure if on the same day, we’ll be able to do Orlando to Nassau.”

Treco-Mackey said 165 people had already been submitted their COVID-19 test results. However, she declined to say whether any of those tests came back positive.

She said another 35 to 40 Bahamians were expected to be tested yesterday.

“We had to extend the opportunity for students who didn’t make it last week,” Treco-Mackey said.

“So, the clinic was actually nice enough to accommodate us.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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