Tourism industry must be protected amid coronavirus outbreak, says minister

Tourism industry must be protected amid coronavirus outbreak, says minister
Aviation Minister, Dionisio D'Aguilar.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar yesterday underscored the need to protect the ‘absolutely critical’ industry amid global Coronavirus concerns.

D’Aguilar told reporter ahead of a Cabinet meeting that The Bahamas receives a relatively small number of Chinese visitors.

D’Aguilar said: “The ban is that any non-resident who has been in China in the last 20 day are restricted  from entering The Bahamas.

“Most countries placed a ban of 14 days but we overcompensated by going to 20 days. We wanted to be sure that no foreign visitors who could have been exposed to the virus in China would be attempting to enter the country.”

He added: “We get very small amounts of foreign visitors directly from China and by in large they have to go through another country to get here and those country’s are beginning to throw up roadblocks.

“The US I see is denying any non-American entry who has been to China in the last 14 days.”

D’Aguilar said this nation’s restriction was the ‘right step’.

“That’s the right’s step. Tourism is absolutely critical to our economy. We must be absolutely sure and resolute indoor efforts to protect our core industry,” he said.

In efforts to prevent the outbreak from spreading, The Bahamas government implemented an immediate ban on January 30, restricting all travel from China to The Bahamas.

The ban however does not include the restriction of trade from the country.

Any non-residents regardless of nationality who has visited China in the last 20 days will be denied entry into the country.

Additionally, all residents returning to The Bahamas will quarantined for 14 days.

At last report, nine Bahamians who returned home after recent travels to China have been quarantined.