NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government’s closure of The Bahamas’ borders to commercial flights from the United States will not have an impact on the geopolitical relationship between the two countries moving forward, Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday.
During his national address, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the closure of the country’s borders to all incoming international commercial carriers, except from Canada, United Kingdom and the European Union as of Wednesday.
He also announced the immediate suspension of Bahamasair flights to the United States, alongside increased restrictions and offenses aimed at curbing a surge in COVID-19 cases since the country reopened on July 1.
“I know that the Americans appreciate what we are dealing with,” Henfield told reporters outside Parliament.
“I spoke with them, my ambassador in Washington spoke with them, and they understand that we are doing all that we can to keep Bahamians safe and in doing so we are going to keep Americans safe because we are strong strategic partners and neighbors who interact with each other on a daily basis as we have been doing so for many many years.”
He insisted that he sees no reason why the decision should impact the years-long partnership.
“If you look very closely there are even states in America that are kind of prohibiting people from other states from traveling and we are no different,” Henfield continued.
“We are going to do all that we can in the interest to protect the wellbeing of Bahamians.”
The foreign affairs ministry noted that the “fluidity” and “dynamism” of COVID-19 presents many challenges for countries across the globe and The Bahamas is no exception.
“Many states in the United States and countries around the world have attempted to open and then found themselves in a position where they had to recalibrate and to reassess,” he added.
“I think with COVID being with us, it’s not going anywhere. We are going to have to have incidents where it appears to be trial and error until we get it right. But we are going to have to learn to participate in a world where COVID is with us until we get a vaccine.”