NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The United States has advised its citizens in The Bahamas that it does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from the country, as it advised of the nationwide lockdown set to go into effect at 9 p.m. tonight.
On Monday, the government extended its state of emergency until April 30 and announced shutdown of all business in The Bahamas until April 14 and additional weekend lockdowns, in an effort to curb the “surge” of coronavirus cases gripping the nation.
The U.S. Embassy Nassau has continually warned citizens who wish to return to the U.S. to make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
“We urge all U.S. citizens still in The Bahamas and its territorial waters to shelter in place or stay in your home and yard, on your vessel, or in your hotel/lodging during these lock down periods, until the regular 24-hour curfew regulations resume, ” the embassy said, in its most recent health alert.
For those U.S. citizens on private vessels, the embassy urged pleasure crafts currently anchored or moored in The Bahamas to depart directly for their country of origin.
The embassy further noted that while vessels can transit on a direct route back to the US, they will not be able to refuel or make use of fuel docks during the full lockdown period.
Departing vessels from The Bahamas must avoid unnecessary deviation on the way to their final destination and crew and passengers must remain aboard their vessel.
“We urge all US citizens to return to the US as soon as possible…don’t wait; the time to leave is now, as soon as weather and provisions allow, or be prepared to stay in The Bahamas for an indefinite period,” it added.
“It bears repeating, restrictions to movement in The Bahamas continue to evolve rapidly, and we cannot predict if, when, for how long, or how severely movement through The Bahamas may be restricted. All vessels must always follow the directions of the Bahamian authorities.”
The embassy noted that while it will make every effort to assist citizens still in the country, it “cannot circumvent the emergency orders put in place by the Bahamian government.”
The advisory comes as other countries move to repatriate their citizens home.
The British High Commission organised a flight to pick up some 45 British national tourists, short-term residents and their direct dependents from Nassau on Tuesday, along with 150 others from the Cayman Islands.