NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The United States Department of States yesterday advised its citizens to reconsider travel abroad due the global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) – even to countries that do not have reported cases.
The Level 3 advisory notice follows similar warnings by the State Department urging Americans not to travel by cruise ship – especially travelers with underlying health conditions.
“Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions,” the advisory read.
“Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.”
In a speech from the Oval office on Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a 30-day travel ban on 26 European countries. The ban does not affect U.S. citizens and residents and does not include the United Kingdom or Ireland.
Nearly two months after the COVID-19 outbreak was confirmed in Wuhan, China, The World Health Organization has officially classified the spread of the virus as a pandemic.
As of yesterday, there were no suspected, reported, or confirmed cases of the virus in The Bahamas.
Although the virus has yet to hit the Bahamian shores, the cruise line industry has been debilitated as Princess Cruises and Disney Cruiseline announce they were be suspending global operations.
Princess cruised announced operations will be halted for 60 days – as two of its ships’ passengers have been forced into quarantine.
Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday through the end of the month.
The government last week expanded its coronavirus travel restrictions to deny entry to non-residents that have traveled to Iran, South Korea, and Italy in the last 20 days.
Bahamians and residents returning from those countries, along with China, will now be subjected to quarantine measures for a maximum of 14 days.
At last report there were four people being quarantined.