PM: Protocol Was Breached
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Dr. Hubert Minnis said 6 permanent residents were on board the private plane
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis addressed the criticisms levied against the government for the permission of Bahamian legal residents into the country, when the borders were shut.
Addressing the nation on Sunday from the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr. Minnis said, “I have now been informed that instead of the stated two permanent residents who were allowed to disembark and remain in the country, that it was actually six permanent residents, who are all related.”
He said the protocol for allowing Bahamians and legal residents to enter the country at this time was breached.
Last week, Americans with Bahamian residency status were allowed to disembark on a private aircraft, bringing 2500 COVID-19 test kits.
Dr. Minnis said all of these individuals have tested negative for COVID-19 and will remain under a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Dr. Minnis, while reiterating the protocol for Bahamians and residents wishing to return to the Bahamas, said citizens and legal residents of the Bahamas, the latter with a home in the country, will be permitted entry into the Bahamas by air travel to New Providence or Grand Bahama, unless approved otherwise.
He said those individuals in these categories are expected to make contact with the nearest Bahamas Embassy or Consulate to them.
Aircraft and airlines proposing to carry such individuals are required to make flight applications in the normal course to the Department of Civil Aviation.
Each person will be required to obtain a RT-PCR COVID 19 molecular diagnostic test from an accredited lab prior to returning, unless otherwise approved to have the test administered upon arrival.
He said, “As some individuals returning from Florida have indicated they are having a difficulty in obtaining this test, we are helping to facilitate them in obtaining the diagnostic test.
“The test results, identifying particulars and contact information of each returning individual will be submitted to the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health.”
Dr. Minnis said, all those returning will be required to be quarantined for fourteen days, in a government quarantined facility or self quarantined, and they will all be subject to mandatory quarantine verification monitored by the Ministry of Health.
Health Minister Duane Sands is expected to give a statement on this developing story.