NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar suggested today that Bahamians and residents, and not visitors, have been exclusively responsible for the influx of cases of coronavirus in The Bahamas.
However, he said the prime minister’s decision to close the borders to all international commercial carriers, with the exception of Canada, the United Kingdom and European Union countries was because the government did not wish to create “two separate set of rules”.
There has been a widespread perception the resurgence of cases since the reopening of the country’s borders on July 1 was the result of imported cases from visitors who departed hotspot jurisdictions.
“Our citizenry took advantage of their increased ability to travel and you will see that all of the cases are domestic grown and the foreign visitors are seemingly to date, not impacting us,” D’Aguilar told reporters on the sidelines of a Government House ceremony.
“Unfortunately, you could not create two separate economies and you could not create two separate set of rules, so of course, the rules must apply to all and in order attempt to get our citizenry or the number of cases in Grand Bahama back under control, the prime minister felt compelled to do what he had to do.
“But I don’t think anyone has shown me any evidence that it was because of foreign visitors coming into the country that we had a growth in cases, so I think we had that group of protocols working well. It’s just that maybe with hindsight we were not strict enough with Bahamians going in and out of the country.”
There have been 49 new infections in The Bahamas since July 1, pushing the total confirmed number of cases to 153.
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