“As we extend this rule, we believe it will help us even further grow the tourism business in a balanced way”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government will extend its cruise passenger vaccine mandate to 2022, Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper confirmed yesterday.
Cooper, who has ministerial responsibility for Tourism, Investments and Aviation, told reporters ahead of a weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday: “We are taking action to extend that to 2022. We will be looking at it closely.
“We are in active conversation with our cruise partners. We welcomed Virgin Cruise last week, a new ship to our shores. We believe vaccination is the right approach in order to attract tourists to our shores in a balanced, responsible way.”
He added: “We note that mostly in the US market, vaccinations are in the high 60 to low 70 percent. We know that our cruise passengers who come to The Bahamas because of this rule are vaccinated. It’s good for The Bahamas, it’s good for the tourism industry and as we extend this rule, we believe it will help us even further grow the tourism business in a balanced way.”
The cruise industry provisions contained in the Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic)(Management and Recovery)(No.2)(Amendment)(No.8) Order 2021, which came into effect on August 19, were to last from September 3 to November 1, 2021.
These provisions prohibited cruise ships from calling in Nassau, Freeport and other Bahamian islands — including the lines’ private islands — unless all passengers aged 12 years and older were fully vaccinated before they embarked the vessel at its original port of departure.
Cruise ships are also required to submit a health manifesto on all passengers and crew before arriving in port.