US travel advisory of The Bahamas lowered to ‘Reconsider’ travel

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Following suit with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of State has revised its travel rating for The Bahamas.

In its March 14 travel advisory, the US dropped its rating tier from a ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’ to a ‘Level 3: Reconsider’ due to COVID-19.

The US Department of State closely reflects the CDC.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a ‘Level 3 Travel Health Notice for The Bahamas due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country,” read the advisory.

“Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine.

“Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.”

The Bahamas has continued to record low, single digit cases of COVID-19 for several weeks.

Active cases stand at around 100.

There were 10 hospitalized cases over the weekend.

However, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Saturday that two Grand Bahamians — a man and woman, ages 44 and 57 — died on February 15 and March 4 respectively.

The Bahamas has recorded 273 new infections between February 12 and March 12, down 91 percent compared to the 3,195 new infections recorded between January 12 and February 11.

This time last month, there were 45 hospitalized cases.

There have been 16 confirmed deaths in the last month, though 11 of those were deaths under investigation that were reclassified.

The CDC’s revision last week from Level 4, very high, to a Level 3, high advises international travelers to be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to The Bahamas.

It also recommends that even if COVID-19 vaccines are up-to date, there may still be a risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

The CDC recommends proper mask-wearing while indoors and in public spaces.

As of Sunday, The Bahamas has begun to ease restrictions on masking wearing in certain settings: corridors, lobby and the casino of hotel resorts and outdoor settings.

The new mask mandate also removes the requirement for people with disabilities or specified medical conditions to wear a mask, provided such individuals have in their possession a medical certificate or letter signed by a medical practitioner proving the existence of such disability or medical condition.

Business establishments are required to ensure employees are wearing faces masks and are required to deny entry to any person not wearing a face mask or not wearing a face mask in the proper manner.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville called the upgrade encouraging.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.