Bahamas reopening borders as Florida covid-19 infection rate soars
As The Bahamas gets set to welcome visitors following the closure of borders in late March, concerns are mounting as Florida’s COVID-19 infection rate soars.
The Florida Health Department confirmed that 5,511 new cases were reported on Tuesday. This smashes the state’s previous one-day high for new cases of 4,049 reported on Saturday.
Medical experts have attributed the alarming increase in new cases to a combination of more testing and people coming closer together as businesses reopen. The state has reported a surge in hospitalizations, including many patients between their 20s and 50s.
These Florida statistics should be increasingly worrisome for The Bahamas due to its proximity. The US makes up 80% of the country’s tourist market and thousands of Bahamians travel to neighboring Florida frequently.
On Monday, Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis called on the government to make public its detailed plan for reopening the country to tourists and keeping Bahamians safe from COVID-19. This call is now critical given what is happening in Florida.
At this juncture, it is prudent to echo Davis’ advise to the government to “open wisely”.
Unlike the United States, The Bahamas does not have the resources to manage the onslaught of COVID cases currently being experienced in Florida.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis recently announced that Bahamians traveling abroad for fewer than 72 hours will not require a Covid-19 test to return. However, they may be required to quarantine for 14 days based on a determination by the Ministry of Health.