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Baha Mar delays October opening; says COVID hasn’t been controlled

Baha Mar will not reopen to guests in October, as planned, noting this goal is not achievable as the coronavirus has not yet been controlled.

The resort told employees they would be provided with 30 percent of their base salary for up to an additional 90 days, which suggests the mega resort may not reopen anytime soon.

This confirmation follows an announcement by Minister of Tourism Dionisio D'Aguilar that major hotels and beaches could fully reopen on October 15.

In a letter to employees on Thursday, Baha mar President Graeme Davis said, "In June, it was our goal to reopen in October. That goal is not achievable under the current circumstances. Our expectation was that the virus would have been controlled by this point, which unfortunately is not the case."

As of Wednesday, there were 2721 COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths in the Bahamas.

Davis said the past few months have been heartbreaking in many ways, adding that while it seemed for a while that the Bahamas' tourism industry would reopen in July, the "extremely dangerous" virus has re-surged in the Bahamas and the United States, devastating the mega resort's plans.

"There are no perfect decisions in our current climate but there are ones that allow us to put the wellbeing of those we care about first.This is why I am announcing that the reopening of Baha Mar will be delayed further in order to preserve the safety of our associates, community and guests," Davis added.

Davis said Baha Mar will once again be providing employees for up to an additional 90 days, 30 percent of their base compensation as an ex gratia payment in addition to payments offered by the government. However, Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest could not say on Wednesday whether unemployment benefits would be extended beyond September.

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