NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The federal government yesterday defended the measures taken to guard visitors and residents from COVID-19 after a recent health notice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned travelers to avoid all travel to the country.
“The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas have taken note of the travel advisory issued by america, 23 November 2020, regarding The Bahamas,” read a joint statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism.
“While the final advisory is Level 3 — reconsider travel to The Bahamas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice — travelers should avoid all travel to The Bahamas.
“The Bahamas understands the necessity for all countries, including the USA, to place in place health and safety measures in the most effective interest of its nationals. At the identical time, The Bahamas has also put in place travel parameters for the protection of Bahamians, residents and tourists within the country, namely by requiring all individuals traveling to The Bahamas to have a COVID-19 Travel Visa and a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test to enter The Bahamas.
“Upon entry, all individuals are required to undergo mandatory monitoring and testing where mandatory. Strict health and safety protocols, comparable to mask-wearing, [social] distancing and hand sanitization, are in place in any respect times. These safety measures are specified by various Emergency Orders which were widely circulated, each nationally and internationally. Failure to comply with these protocols will lead to fines and even imprisonment.”
The Bahamas is currently in its second wave of COVID-19 infections, and although the variety of new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in The Bahamas fell 29 percent last week, health officials proceed to advise residents to follow the emergency measures that the federal government has implemented to stem the spread of the virus.
The US travel advisory issued yesterday specifically calls for US residents to “reconsider travel to The Bahamas because of health and safety measures and COVID-related conditions [and] exercise caution in some areas of The Bahamas because of crime”.
“The new travel advisory level and language reflect updated local crime statistics and a decline in crimes which will affect US travelers to The Bahamas,” it states.
“The travel advisory also continues to bear in mind the intense health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in The Bahamas.
“The State Department continues to observe conditions closely and can adjust the travel advisory as needed to assist US residents make informed travel decisions.”
The CDC, meanwhile, lists The Bahamas as “level 4: COVID-19 very high” and cautions, “Travelers should avoid all travel to the Bahamas.”
It further states, “CDC recommends that travelers defer all cruise travel worldwide.”
The warnings come amid the tourism industry having just reopened in the beginning of this month, and with many of the country’s visitors originating from america.
Nevertheless, the ministries of their joint statement expressed confidence within the emergency regulations in place, stating: “The Bahamas is confident that if all visitors, nationals and residents abide by these regulations, the spread of the pandemic shall be stemmed and the lack of lives shall be prevented.
“At the identical time, while observing these rules, visitors may have an enjoyable stay in The Bahamas.
“The federal government of The Bahamas is committed to the protection of all and sundry inside its borders and can adhere to medical and scientific advice.
“The Bahamas will proceed to work with all countries to fight the pandemic and treat those that have been afflicted by the virus until a vaccine is accessible. Until such time, we urge all individuals to spare no measure to watch health and safety protocols.”
As much as Sunday, November 22, The Bahamas had recorded a complete of seven,431 cases of COVID-19, with 1,562 of those cases remaining lively.