A ‘WIN’ FOR TRAVEL MOMENTUM: Tourism stakeholder lauds suspension of mandatory PCR testing requirement

A ‘WIN’ FOR TRAVEL MOMENTUM: Tourism stakeholder lauds suspension of mandatory PCR testing requirement
A COVID-19 testing sign is posted at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. (RINGO CHIU)

“It’s a big win for the industry”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Tourism stakeholders have lauded the government’s move to suspend the mandatory RT-PCR testing requirement for vaccinated travelers, telling Eyewitness News that it eliminated significant roadblocks to the winter season’s momentum.

The mandatory RT-PCR testing was originally expected to take effect on January 7, 2022.

Robert Sands.

Robert Sands, the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) president, told Eyewitness News: “We think that is a very positive move for the industry. It’s a big win for the industry.

“It eliminated significant road blocks to the momentum for the winter season.

“The reality is that over 90 percent of guests in the aggregate are vaccinated. The availability of these tests in our major markets are difficult and the costs are prohibitive.

“A lot of these things would contribute to a dampened winter season.”

He added: “I think the communication between the government and the BHTA has been welcomed and allowed us to get to this compromised position. We have been collaborative in a number of instances.

“We recognize that government makes its decision independently but we have articulated concerns regarding COVID protocols to the Ministry of Tourism and in meetings we have had with Ministry of Health representatives.”

With suspension of the mandatory RT-PCR testing requirement, vaccinated travelers, as well as children ages 2 to 11, can continue to present either a negative rapid antigen test or negative RT-PCR test taken no later than three days before arrival.

In addition, effective January 4, 2022, anyone remaining in The Bahamas for longer than 48 hours will be required to undergo a rapid antigen test, regardless of vaccination status.


This doesn’t matter since you will have to waste a day of your vacation and spend more money for another test .You just had one before going .Seems like they will take our money anyway they can .And this ridiculous travel visa …I have not heard of one tourist airlifted out because of covid So who wins here ,the insurance company .??? You bet !!!
Stay home !!! Or better yet spend your hard earned money somewhere else ..

I expect the Health visa to be in place for life !! Like the car inspection ,registration that was increased tremendously and keeps going up every year .Promised it was only going to last for one year in order to get money to fix the road ..never done and we are still paying !!! Yes I am a homeowner on Exuma and have watched it being RAPED by greedy rich builders and developers with their rental mansions on every.lot they can get their paws on .The wildlife is disappearing the ocean fronts destroyed by big huge cement monsters ,emptying the aquafir for their infinity pools ,sucking up all the power causing more outages for their ac on day and night .What a shame !!! As for jobs ,those folks hire Haitians …They like to work .We are all losers in this ..crime is beginning like I’ve seen happen on another island I lived on and it’s lost its qualities.like the peace and quiet ,quaintness and smilling faces of friends there .
If your not grateful for what you have now or should I say had ,what makes you think having more will make you HAPPY ????

The rebound of our economy would have not continued had the PCR been enforced I already had x3 post Jan 7 cancelations with lots of chatter of other cancelations as PCR tests have become obsolete in many areas without much cost and difficulty. To continue with this would have had saavy travelers pick destinations with more feasible requirements. Hats off to those in charge of this retract. Abaco and Freeport especially needing the Tourism rebound to continue.

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