Bahamian Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Monday the island nation will ban commercial flights from the United States to protect the country from the spread of Covid-19, which is out of control in the U.S. despite comments President Trump’s declaration to the contrary.
However, international commercial flights from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union will be permitted when the U.S. ban takes effect midnight Wednesday, July 22. Beaches and parks will be closed and a curfew will be in effect on Grand Bahama. The European Union recently closed its borders to the U.S. to fight Covid-19.
Bahamasair, the national airline of the Bahamas, immediately will cease flights to the U.S. Vistors who must leave the island after July 22 will be accommodated. Private international flights and charters for the Bahamians, residents and visitors will be permitted as will pleasure craft and yachts.
The ban on international flights from the U.S. comes after the Bahamas fully opened its borders on July 1.
The Bahamian government is taking these steps to control or stop the spread of new cases of Covid-19, which as of July 19 reached 153.5 cases. Grand Bahama Island has seen a resurgence of Covid-19 after being Covid-19 free for a little more than two months, said Minnis.
On the other hand, the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the United States leads the world. As of July 20, there were 3, 748, 248 confirmed cased in the U.S., and 139, 964 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The Bahamas are 50 miles off the coast of Florida, making the islands a favorite American tourist destination. Florida is a Covid-19 hotspot.
“The restrictions have been in place to protect the health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors, which remains of primary importance, and to prevent the spread of the virus throughout The Bahamas, ” Prime Minister Minis said.