Written by 2:25 am Travel

MINIMAL RISK FACTOR: UK official doesn’t foresee travel advisories against Bahamas…for now

Dickson: There may be a weekly review process given changing nature of pandemic

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — British High Commissioner to The Bahamas Sarah Dickson said on Thursday that she doesn’t anticipate the UK changing its travel rating for The Bahamas.

This despite an ongoing surge of cases that has been attributed to the omicron variant and activities over the vacations.

I haven’t heard anything that makes me think The Bahamas presents a risk factor to the UK that will involve new travel restrictions.

– UK High Commissioner Sarah Dickson

“Not that I’m aware of,” she told Eyewitness News when contacted for comment.

“There may be a scientific process within the UK that also does weekly evaluation of nations’ healthcare capability, variants that they’ve got — that form of thing — and people criteria are on the federal government website and lists them out, and embassies and high commissions everywhere in the world, we contribute information to that.

British High Commissioner to The Bahamas Sarah Dickson.

“But loads of that information is publicly available via in The Bahamas’ the dashboards, after which they work out the chance aspects to the UK of varied countries.

“I haven’t heard anything that makes me think The Bahamas presents a risk factor to the UK that will involve new travel restrictions being placed on Bahamians or Brits or people from The Bahamas traveling to the UK.

“I haven’t heard anything that will make me think that’s likely, but, after all, what COVID is like and each single week something happens and that’s the reason it’s a weekly [review] process.”

The omicron variant has not been confirmed as samples sent abroad for genome sequencing have yet to be reported on, but health officials said the epidemiology of the fourth wave is reflective of the highly contagious strain.

Between January 1 and 5, The Bahamas recorded greater than 1,800 new infections.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once more revised its travel rating for The Bahamas from Level 2 to Level 3 — a possible deterrent to travelers.

The Bahamas postponed the introduction of mandatory RT-PCR tests for all travelers entering the nation to the top of the month, on the idea that tests and the turnaround time for results remain challenged in quite a few jurisdictions.

The reintroduced testing requirement was initially set to take effect today.

There may be a scientific process within the UK that also does weekly evaluation of nations’ healthcare capability, variants that they’ve got — that form of thing.

– UK High Commissioner Sarah Dickson

Vaccinated travelers, in addition to children ages two through 11, may proceed to present either a negative rapid antigen test or negative RT-PCR test within the meantime.

As well as, effective Tuesday, anyone remaining in The Bahamas for longer than 48 hours will likely be required to undergo a rapid antigen test, no matter vaccination status.

Meanwhile, the UK has determined that new travel restrictions will not be needed at the moment to fight the omicron variant, despite a big surge of cases.

In England, fully vaccinated travelers under the age of 18 will not be required to acquire a pre-departure test, and travelers have as much as two days upon arrival to acquire a rapid antigen test.

England maintains a high level of vaccination, including booster shots.

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