New travel program will allow return to Family Islands

New travel program will allow return to Family Islands

PM to announce details on measures in upcoming national address

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is expected to announce a program for Family Islanders to return to their respective islands from the capital when he addresses the nation tomorrow.

“Keeping our Family Islands safe is one of our top priorities,” said Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, health consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister.

“To date, authorized individuals can travel to and from the Family Islands to New Providence to receive medical care.

“Additionally, healthcare workers are permitted to travel to respond to medical emergencies or provide a response to COVID-19 situations.

The country’s borders were closed in late March, preventing incoming commercial flights, visitors, residents of Bahamians from entering the country.

Domestic travel was also prohibited.

Dahl-Regis signaled an upcoming announcement at a Ministry of Health press conference yesterday.

“Now the ministry if beginning to receive a lot of requests from Family Island residents, wishing to return home from New Providence.

“Consequently, the ministry has developed a policy and protocol for the approving and monitoring of people traveling into and intra islands.

“The prime minister will outline the policy and protocols during his upcoming national address this weekend.”

While exceptions were made for a dozen Bahamians and permanent residents amid the lockdown, it was not until last week that nearly 190 Bahamians stuck abroad were allowed to return to the country via a repatriation exercise.

Numerous Family Islands remain have had zero cases of the virus.

As of yesterday, there were 96 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas — 74 in New Providence, 13 in Bimini, eight in Grand Bahama and one in Cat Cay.

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced commercial activity on several Family Islands in the southern Bahamas will be allowed to resume Monday.

He said the opening of various Family Islands was set to begin in phase two of the government’s six-phase plan, but the decision was made to gradually reopen the islands by zone.

The islands reopened included Ragged Island, Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay.

The prime minister said physical distancing and other safety protocols must continue to be practiced and enforced at all times.

Curfew and lockdown measures on all Family Islands remain in effect.

13 comments

Edwin Simms
Seeing that the person traveling to Grand Bahama was tested negative when are the Prime Minister going to allow us to come home it’s been a long time.

What about students who are stuck in Canada. What are the government doing to help those students. All I have been hearing them talking about student in the United States and not mentioning Canada at all.

Good day to whom it may concern. I’m living in the Turks & Caicos Islands. I normally return home every July – august. I’m making a plea Sir / Madam, once our borders are in full operation. For consideration to be made, that the persons traveling into Freeport be flown directly to their island. Flights to and from the Bahamas into the Turks Islands leaves every Sunday & Thursdays. I’m requesting that one day be set aside for Freeport and one for Nassau arrivals. Hopefully this will eliminate the long lay over in the event, that one may need to be examined. Therefore, they will be on their island for that period of time. Thank you for taking time to read my post. May our heavenly Father keep watch over us all, in Jesus name. Do have a bless and safe day, BAHAMAS STRONG!

Seeing that there is no cases on eleuthera
Especially our main island,I would like to know when will the our island reopen
Remember Harbour island is a lil island of the main island and if they are not adhering then keep harbour island close.but not the main Island it not fair to people who trying to go back to work to feed their families

Knowing that this decision is not a great idea. I don’t think that the problem is the government it’s the people not listening to instruction please don’t let go and you will see what happens if you adhere the instructions given. I don’t think it’s the government plan to take care of the entire nation but it happened that way. So I feel that he’s tired of fishing for us.TRUST ME HE WOULD RATHER WE FISHING FOR OURSELVES. SORRY BUT ONE THING I FORGOT TO MENTION AND YOU TOO.THE TAXES ARE GOING TO INCREASE. please people don’t forget about this

I hope the first tax will be the tourist visa tax attached to the same immigration card now filled out by every non citizen if they come , use, enjoy, dirty, damage, etc, they should be paying for that through a visa, every Caribbean island charges it, we are only in a hurry to tax our own and I don’t think I should call them ours because they looking out fer people other than bahamians, let’s start a petition to implement tourist visa tax so we pay a little less

Tax us too heavily and we will go elsewhere and then your economy will suffer and maybe you will also.

Bahamas has already doubled, to $300 per 6 months, the fee we pay to enter your beautiful country, and we pay the same VAT that you do, while some countries refund the VAT to non-citizens.

For those of us who have business and responsibilities between two islands and need to travel back and forth (I would go by ferry or mailboat to physically distance as recommended but need to prepare for hurricane season and would adhere absolutely to the advice of the medical fraternity, it would be progress and peace of mind to have that opportunity available to us.

Yup, keep those tourists out of the country, tax them while Bahamian government is spending money instead of opening economy.

Let’s be truthful which is a rare commodity these days, do tell me which tourist steps off the airline or from the cruise ship and pays a tax, truth none, now if you muddy the waters without being truthful and say we have doubled a tax clarify that , presumably it’s a craft of some sort entering not a person but that craft for 6 months will damage our environment by it’s anchorages, it’s waste both water and in most cases engine both main and generator that needs cooling , garbage , and free access to all islands not to mention seafood, $50 a month would not compensate and the bad publicity you give us for our sharing our country with you at that price hope your next destination is more lenient and hospitable and does not require a visitor visa tax.

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