D’Aguilar: No negative Covid test, no entry for tourists
Amid concerns by senior physicians, the former minister of health and the opposition, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar announced in the House of Assembly that all passengers will be required to have a negative Covid-19 test before they are allowed to enter The Bahamas once borders reopen to international commercial flights on July 1.
“We have opened the country to foreign visitors wishing to come here by private plane or pleasure craft or yacht. These persons will require a molecular swab PCR COVID 19 test with a negative result to enter the country,” according to D’Aguilar.
“Given the spike in the number of positive COVID 19 tests in the United States and the uncertainty surrounding just how many cases will require hospitalization, the Government of The Bahamas has decided to maintain the current status quo until further notice. What we mean by that, Mr. Speaker, is that the Government of The Bahamas, which now requires a COVID 19 test to enter the country up to July 1 will also require a COVID 19 after July 1,” he added.
“There has been much concern expressed about the re-opening of the country to foreign visitors – allowing them and Bahamians returning home, after 1 July, to enter the country without…….I repeat without…….some form of testing to determine their covid 19 status,” said D’Aguilar while contributing to the budget debate.
“The concern expressed has been as a result of what we have all being watching on our televisions and reading on social media and in the newspapers about what is happening in the United States – the source of 82% of our foreign visitors.”
The announcement comes one day after Opposition leader Philip Davis said he is only in favor of the country reopening if it is done right.
On Sunday, the Consultant Physicians Staff Association begged the government not to open the country to untested visitors out of fear Bahamians could see a second wave of the coronavirus, which has infected millions of people across the globe.