PM: Delayed domestic visa prompted quarantine requirement for New Providence

PM: Delayed domestic visa prompted quarantine requirement for New Providence
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. (BIS PHOTO/YONTALAY BOWE)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday the mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from New Providence to other islands was reintroduced because the domestic travel visa has not been prepared.

An amendment to the emergency orders signed today reintroduced the quarantine measure for travelers from New Providence to other islands.

Those transiting through New Providence within 24-hours do not have to obtain a further health visa or quarantine.

Speaking to Eyewitness News, Minnis said the domestic travel visa was expected to be made available on November 8.

He said he was heading into a meeting to find out when the visa will be made available.

“There is the visa card coming from the US. With the visa, you automatically do the PCR and you come through — there is a risk assessment that they put up, that you’re supposed to complete and you do the test [after] five days,” the prime minister said.

“If you’re transiting, if you’re coming from the US, and you’re Bahamian or American or whoever, once you’re in transit, then that visa applies.

“Now why they had said the 8th it (quarantine) would fall away for domestic routes was because they had anticipated by the 8th they would have the visa ready for the domestic route, which means once you complete the visa, you would automatically do the PCR [COVID-19 test] to travel, and then you would do the risk assessment and the five-day test.

“That’s it, so there was no quarantine. Unfortunately, they have not completed the visa yet and that’s why you hear me say I’m [logging] on now to go to a meeting to find out exactly when that is going to be done. So, I can’t give you any more information.”

In the latest emergency orders, signed on November 9, the testing on arrival and quarantine requirement was discontinued.

It said travelers from New Providence shall obtain a health visa and undergo secondary testing.

It maintains that travelers entering The Bahamas must obtain a health visa, negative RT-PCR test and follow-up test on the fifth day.