“It’s an enormous win for the industry”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Tourism stakeholders have lauded the federal government’s move to suspend the mandatory RT-PCR testing requirement for vaccinated travelers, telling Eyewitness News that it eliminated significant roadblocks to the winter season’s momentum.
The mandatory RT-PCR testing was originally expected to take effect on January 7, 2022.
Robert Sands, the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) president, told Eyewitness News: “We expect that could be a very positive move for the industry. It’s an enormous win for the industry.
“It eliminated significant road blocks to the momentum for the winter season.
“The truth is that over 90 percent of guests in the mixture are vaccinated. The provision of those tests in our major markets are difficult and the prices are prohibitive.
“A whole lot of this stuff would contribute to a dampened winter season.”
He added: “I feel the communication between the federal government and the BHTA has been welcomed and allowed us to get to this compromised position. Now we have been collaborative in numerous instances.
“We recognize that government makes its decision independently but we now have articulated concerns regarding COVID protocols to the Ministry of Tourism and in meetings we now have had with Ministry of Health representatives.”
With suspension of the mandatory RT-PCR testing requirement, vaccinated travelers, in addition to children ages 2 to 11, can proceed to present either a negative rapid antigen test or negative RT-PCR test taken no later than three days before arrival.
As well as, effective January 4, 2022, anyone remaining in The Bahamas for longer than 48 hours will likely be required to undergo a rapid antigen test, no matter vaccination status.