NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Free National Movement (FNM) yesterday called on the federal government to change its screening policing for reentering the country, suggesting that The Bahamas appears to be entering a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic and there may be a necessity for increased measures to safeguard the general public.
Just over per week ago, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Chester Cooper announced the elimination of travel health visas for Bahamians and residents reentering the country.
“We’re recommending that the federal government modify the screening policies that it has for individuals entering the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. We understand clearly that COVID doesn’t only take lives, however it destroys livelihoods,” Pintard said on the FNM’s headquarters on Mackey Street.
“We’re occupied with the country clicking on all cylinders, generating jobs and opportunities for all Bahamians.
“Nonetheless, if the country is overrun by COVID, the variants that we’ve got long been accustomed to or the new variant that’s more transmissible, the livelihood that we presently enjoy is prone to be strangled.”
He continued: “And so, we’ve got to be sensible and we’ve got to be cautious and we’ve got to have candid conversations with the population about what the risks are. Countries world wide are modifying the necessities for reentry. They’re requiring a PCR test typically for individuals to return into their jurisdiction. Those that had relaxed it are going back to it.”
The removal of the travel health visa was among the many PLP’s campaign guarantees.
However the FNM leader said the federal government should be cautious about pandering to popular views and concentrate on expanding vaccination and fulfilling its promise of free national testing, which stays within the pilot stage on a handful of Family Islands.
A full rollout is anticipated next yr.
Pintard stressed that rapid antigen tests weren’t the test expected as a part of this system, and if that’s the case, it shows a “lack of know-how by way of what’s the gold standard for testing to find out whether anyone is COVID positive or not”.