Monday, October 26, 2020

PM Announces COVID-19 Authorization Travel Card

Dr. Hubert Minnis says the card gives clearance for interisland travel

The government is set to issue COVID-19 Authorization Travel Cards that will allow travel to the Family Island.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said, as “the Government is about to begin a gradual re-opening of inter-island travel, the Ministry of Health has developed a policy and protocol for the approval and monitoring of individuals traveling to islands that have resumed normal commercial activity.”

Dr. Minnis said individuals must submit to an evaluation by a Ministry of Health-authorized physician, in the public or private sector as this evaluation will include a risk assessment via a questionnaire to determine the individual’s level of risk for COVID-19 infection, plus or minus a physical exam to determine the presence of any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

He said if deemed low risk and the physical exam does not reveal any symptoms, it is expected that the person will be issued a COVID-19 Authorization Travel Card that will allow travel to the Family Island.

If the individual is deemed a higher risk or has symptoms that may be consistent with COVID-19, the individual will be referred for testing to definitively determine their COVID19 status, Dr. Minnis said.

However, he said the healthcare provider may still decide that a person who is low risk may need to be tested for COVID-19.

Individuals travelling on behalf of their workplace will be subjected to similar requirements, Dr. Minnis said.

He said, to facilitate these arrangements, the Ministry of Health is collaborating with the Civil Aviation Authority.

“In the first phase of this inter-island travel, residents of cleared Family Islands who are trapped in New Providence or Grand Bahama may travel back home after going through the process outlined,” he said

Individuals may start applying beginning Wednesday, May 20th.

Dr. Minnis said once cleared for travel, each traveler must present the COVID-19 Travel 22 Authorization Card to the relevant ticket agent as the Card gives approval from the Ministry of Health for inter-island travel.

He added that each person must also present a Government-issued ID.

Residents of the cleared Family Islands may travel between those islands by plane or boat.

“For example, a resident of Long Island may travel to Cat Island or any other island included on the list. These residents may travel without a COVID-19 travel authorization card. Those on the Family Islands cleared for commercial activity may also travel to New Providence and Grand Bahama. But in order to return to their respective islands they must complete the procedures and processes outlined earlier.”

Policies and procedures have been developed to enhance communication between the two organisations for decisions regarding: • who can travel; and • where they can travel in the Family Islands or Grand Bahama.

This policy and protocol will require individuals to register with the Ministry of Health by emailing covid19travel@bahamas.gov.bs.

#covid19bahamas #opm

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