NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After being stuck in Haiti for the past eight months, Guy Cherubin, and several other Bahamians and permanent residents of The Bahamas will return this week as the travel ban on Haiti fell away with the expiration of the public state of emergency and emergency orders.
“It’s fallen away and I just have to say that I’m thankful for this,” he told Eyewitness News from Haiti.
“It’s been challenging you know. I ran out of money and that’s been an issue, but I need to return to my business; my family.”
During the weekly press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Press Secretary Clint Watson confirmed the travel ban on Haiti and Cuba had been lifted.
He also announced that Bahamasair resumed flights to Haiti and Cuba four flights per week, as he signaled for citizens and residents of The Bahamas to return home at their discretion.
A look on Bahamasair’s website, shows a flight available from New Providence to Port-au-Prince on November 20 for $303.50.
“They surely can return,” said Watson in response to questions from Eyewitness News.
“I am pleased to announce that Bahamasair had its first flight to Haiti yesterday.
“There will be two flights per week, Bahamasair: One to Cap Haitien, which was yesterday, and the other to Port-au-Prince, which will be on Saturday.
“They’ve also returned flights to Cuba, four flights a week.
“Bahamasair has begun these flights this week. So, it has happened.
“Persons who want to return home are urged to call Bahamasair and book their flight and come on home
“We’re receiving them.”
The original ban on Haiti in February was explained as a decision to block travelers for three weeks as Haiti celebrated carnival.
At the time, few countries in the region had begun vaccination campaigns.
Prior to the ban, The Bahamas had regular, direct flights to Haiti.
The Bahamas received its first tranche of vaccines in early March, along with many countries in the region.
Haiti was left behind in the global and regional campaign effort.
Haiti did not begin its vaccination campaign until July.
The nation, which has been faced with increasing political and economic strife, has yet to vaccinate more than one percent of its population.
To date, The Bahamas has vaccinated over 40 percent of its population.
Haiti is not alone with low vaccination rates in the region.
As of last month, Jamaica, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines had less than 20 percent vaccination rates.