Amended orders: Inter-island travel restrictions eased among most islands

Amended orders: Inter-island travel restrictions eased among most islands
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Amended emergency orders released yesterday eliminates the need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to inter-island travel with the exception of traveling from and between Grand Bahama and New Providence.

The order amends the Emergency Powers (COVID 19 Pandemic) No. 5) Orders 2020.

According to the amended orders, anyone seeking to travel to another island must still obtain a travel visa prior to traveling, and upon arrival on the island submit to mandatory quarantine at a government approved facility for 14 days.

However, anyone traveling from New Providence and Grand Bahama — which lead the country in COVID-19 cases — must obtain a negative RTPCR COVID-19 test prior to applying for a travel visa.

This also applies to travelers between the two islands.

The result of the COVID-19 test must be “valid for a period of five days from the date which the test was taken”.

Children 10-years-old or younger are exempt from the testing requirement, but will also be required to quarantine.

Quarantine for 14-days is not required for anyone traveling among islands in the first schedule of the orders, which include Chub Cay, Harbour Island, Long Cay, Long Island, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Spanish Wells.

The amended orders maintain that all passenger must wear face masks, and operators or any aircraft or mailboat carrying passenger inter-island must deny anyone not wearing a mask or who has not presented to the carrier upon embarking, a travel visa.

An operator who permits a person to travel contrary to the order shall be liable upon conviction of a fine of $500 per passenger.

Exceptions

A person traveling inter-island for an emergency, evidenced by written confirmation from a health officer or the police force; and employees of an operator or an aircraft or vessel transporting freight and passengers will be exempted from obtaining a health visa or quarantine upon arrival.

The competent authority reserves the right to exempt in writing any person traveling inter island from the requirement to undergo quarantine where “exceptional circumstances exist”.

The amended order provides for public officers traveling for government business who have written confirmation that they are traveling for “immediate government business” will also be exempted from the quarantine requirement.

A COVID-19 negative test in still required for a public officer in these circumstances.

Additionally, the orders give the minister of education the authority to grant approval to a school to engage in face to face instructions provided the Ministry of Health has determined “it is safe to do so”.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis signed the order dated September 4.

14 comments

This makes no medical sense. A husband & wife living in the same house in Nassau and sleeping in the same bed go to Doctors Hospital and get negative tesrs. They both pack a bag and go to Potters Cay. He catches the Bo Hengy to Harbour Island and is at the restaurant & bar for lunch. She catches the Daybreak to Governors Harbour and is trapped in 14day quarabtine. Seriously???

More consideration needs to be given for Grand Bahama and New Providence travellers. You have persons like myself, who are stuck in New Providence and can’t get back home (Freeport) because no airlines are flying between these two islands with these current restrictions in place. Nor is the mall boat taking passengers to any of these islands. So there’s no way for me to get back home to Freeport unless I charter a flight which I can’t afford at $1,600. This is the cost that I was told by a Charter company to charter a flight back to Freeport.
I ended up in Nassau after being airlifted on an emergency flight from Freeport in late July. I spent 25 days in hospital being treated and cared for after nearly dying from Covid 19. Since being released from the hospital in Nassau some 23 days ago, I have been unable to return back to Freeport to be with my family due to that fact that none of the airlines are flying. I have been in Nassau almost a month now and away from my family and can’t get back home. I didn’t come into Nassau at no fault of mine. I was airlifted here as a matter of life and death. And now I’m stuck.
I feel its time to relax the restrictions on travel to and from Grand Bahama and New Providence as well. I am sure there are many persons like myself who are also stuck and only want to go back home. Had I been working at this time in Grand Bahama I certainly would have already lost my job for not reporting back to work because I can’t get back on the island.
I have been away from my family in Freeport now for almost 2 months including the time I spent in the hospital. I appeal to the Competent Authority to also remove the restrictions put in place on inter island travel between Nassau and Grand Bahama.
All you can do is warn persons of the dangers of not following all of the protocols. At the end of the day, it’s really up to each individual to take heed and follow the protocols.

my relative is stuck in Freeport and cannot get home to her family also after travelling And got stuck since the lockdown continued back to back

Please help me understand, I am presently posted at a high school in Andros, my son schools at one the
primary schools . Do I still have to take the test that requires the q tip inserting the nose?

My family on tha island i work in nassau to go to the island. Cov19 negitecv test not a problem wen rech to tha island 14 days quarinte and you going to tha island for one weak how is that possable

My family on tha island i work in nassau to go to the island. Cov19 negitecv test not a problem wen rech to tha island 14 days quarinte and you going to tha island for one weak how is that possable

It’s not fair that we have to quarantine for 14 days plus the additional days that you traveled for in the first place that’s impossible if you cant get the time off from work for persons that are working or be away from our young kids for that long the hospital is so worthless on the island what do they have doctors for they send you Nassau for everything they cant perform a colonoscopy on the island so I have to fly in Nassau I cant afford to be in Nassau for more than 4 days so that means I cant go to the doctor until the quarantine is lessened it makes no sense

I need a valid Visa now to travel in my own country. Please , some help me understand this.Coming out of Dorian was one of the worst I ask this night that you all who are in power show mercy.

I have an American Visa appointment with my daughter and we will be traveling only one day. Do you have to do the test and be isolate for 14 days?

I am a teacher and my daughter is 16 years old.

Mr. Minnis I understand you looking out for the Family Islands but here’s my concerns I work in Bimini at the Resort site that means I haven’t work from 22nd July wont be working until you open up the International Borders so if I have a negative test why do I still have to go in quarantine for 14 days if I’m going back to work please tell me how that will work also no job no money to pay for a test that’s very costly I think you’ll have alot to take into consideration for the Bahamian people who are hurting even when the country is fully open. I’m in Nassau so I have to go through all this red tape and when I came I only had to apply for the gov Visa which last for about 2weeks.

Does the government list where a traveler should go to take he COVID test?

And where to go to obtain the travel visa?

I’ve called PMH but no testing there; I was given he phone number of a laboratory but nobody picked up the phone….

Why is it so burdensome to comply with these government orders?

It would be so nice if he govt help us out more, rather than just issue proclamations from on high.

Does the government list where a traveler should go to take he COVID test?

And where to go to obtain the travel visa?

I’ve called PMH but no testing there; I was given he phone number of a laboratory but nobody picked up the phone….

Why is it so burdensome to comply with these government orders?

It would be so nice if he govt helped us out, rather than just issue proclamations from on high.

In these times how can one afford a plane ticket plus pay for a covid test. So If i go to Nassau from Freeport on business I have to take a covid test and when I return to Freeport I have to take another test. That’s two tests I have to take at my expense??? If test is only valid for 5 days it takes 2 days for results so you really only have 2 days to work with. This is crazy. Please tell me I am not understanding this correctly.

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