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High cost of Covid-19 tests concern for Family Island parents

Family Island residents are calling on the Competent Authority and the Minister of Education to clarify travel requirements for students who need to return to their respective islands ahead of the October 5 opening of public schools.

Many parents are concerned about the high cost to take Covid-19 tests for students to travel on top of having to purchase laptops and data in the midst of high unemployment on the islands.

Additionally, some parents have multiple children in New Providence who need to return to their home island before the new school year begins.

On some islands, Covid-19 tests cost up to $300 per person. 

On August 31, Minister of Education Jeff Lloyd announced the targeted opening date of schools across the Bahamas is Monday, 5th October 2020.

Schools on New Providence, Abaco and Eleuthera will open in a completely virtual environment. Schools on Grand Bahama and all other islands will open face to face.

This means students currently on New Providence but who attend school on one of those islands with face to face learning will have to return home. This makes it difficult for their parents in light of travel requirements.

Travel is permitted between all islands of The Bahamas based on the following requirements:

-Before departure, a negative RTPCR COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test with a negative result must be presented within 5 days from the date of travel.

-Upon arrival to the island, mandatory quarantine at a government identified facility or any other appropriate facility as determined by the Ministry of Health, at the traveler’s expense, for a period of 14 days or for the duration of stay.

-Undergo a RTPCR COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test at the end of the quarantine period.

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