Baker’s Bay foreign workers tested for negative for COVID-19

Baker’s Bay foreign workers tested for negative for COVID-19
Just over 100 Mexican workers arrived in The Bahamas for the Baker's Bay project earlier this month. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Baker’s Bay executives have confirmed that 135 Mexicans who arrived in The Bahamas on Thursday to assist with the reconstruction of the hurricane-damaged resort, have all tested negative for COVID-19.

Officials said the group was issued travel cards by health officials.

The clarification came after health officials at yesterdays’ COVID-19 press conference were unable to confirm the workers were tested for the virus – a requirement for entry into The Bahamas.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillian advised that officials were still awaiting those results and that it was being investigated.

However, Senior VP of Environmental and Community Affairs for Bakers Bay Livingston Marshall told Eyewitness News last night that all the men were tested and received negative diagnosis before coming to the country.

Marshall insisted that the results were shared with the Ministry of Health and all men were granted cards.

Images of the workers making their way to Abaco to commence construction has sparked caused widespread outrage and alarm across social media.

The renewed opposition to the move comes as the country faces record unemployment rates, projected to climb by more than 40 percent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February, Eyewitness News reported that Baker’s Bay was seeking some 500 work permits to help jumpstart construction.

Last week, during his wrap up to the 2020/2021 budget, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that Baker’s Bay will continue with its expansion plans estimated at $400 million over three years.

He noted that Bahamians currently make up 80 percent (472) of persons employed at the property.

Minnis further underscored several developments that he believes signal investor confidence and the ongoing restoration of Abaco’s economy, including the Montage Cay and Marina project and the proposed $300 million five star residential resort and marina development by Tyrsoz Family Holdings Ltd.