NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The recent US Department of State Level 4 travel advisory on The Bahamas was “inevitable” given the tremendous surge in COVID-19 cases, Tourism and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday.
The minister noted that this nation continues to walk a “tremendous line” in balancing economic and health concerns amid the pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US has added The Bahamas to its “Do Not Travel” list, citing the “very high level of COVID-19 within the country”.
The US Department of State, which closely reflects the CDC, revised its travel advisory for The Bahamas from “Level 3: Exercise increased caution” to “Level 4: Don’t travel”. The advisory noted that the danger of contracting the virus or developing severe symptoms could also be lowered for people who’re fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine.
D’Aguilar stated: “We went to a Level 4. It was inevitable. The variety of positive cases have been increasing for quite a while. That’s why the message from the federal government has continually been to get vaccinated.
“The one way we’re going to cut back the extent of positive cases is that if everyone heads the decision of the prime minister to go and get vaccinated.”
D’Aguilar added: “We’re walking that tremendous line the prime minister keeps talking about. We now have to maintain our economy open because we want to live and we want to eat, but at the identical time maintaining some safety in our health protocols.”
D’Aguilar was also asked about when this nation will begin collecting overflight fees.
In response, he said: “We’re going through the mechanics of setting all of that up. I expect that within the 30 days or so, we’d receive funds from that, which might be an enormous boon to the Bahamian people.
“For the primary time ever, we might be receiving money for our natural resources, which is the space above us. This might be the primary time we ever earn anything from it.”
Managing its own airspace could yield this nation $300 to $350 million a 12 months, D’Aguilar previously stated.