The Big Story
U.S Travelers Banned From the Bahamas as COVID-19 Reach Shocking Total
Only visitors from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union remain on the country’s travel list
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced that the Bahamas will no longer accept visitors from the United States as of Wednesday midnight, as the country fights to handle recent outbreaks of the virus.
However, travelers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union are permitted entry.
Dr. Minnis made the surprising announcement at a national address on Sunday, stating that “as a country we have to do what is right and necessary.”
He continued, “If we do not take these measures now, we will pay a higher and deadlier price later. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic we acted early to prevent widespread sickness and death.”
“We must do so once again,” he said.
He revealed 15 new coronavirus cases, totaling 153 infections for the Bahamas.
Besides travelers coming into the country, Bahamians will not be allowed travel to the United States.
“Bahamasair will cease outgoing flights to the United States of America, effective immediately.”
Dr. Minnis said in an effort to accommodate visitors, outgoing commercial flights will be permitted for U.S travelers who are scheduled to leave after Wednesday 22nd.
He added that private international flights and charters for Bahamians, residents and visitors will be permitted, and pleasure craft and yachts will also be permitted.
The Bahamas’ tourism industry depends heavily on visitors from the United States, receiving eighty percent of its visitors from its closest ally, due to its proximity to the Bahamas.
Florida’s numbers spiked on Sunday, with 12,478 new cases identified, pushing the state’s total to more than 350,047, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health..
The state has seen COVID cases climb in the past several weeks, with more than 80,000 cases confirmed in the last seven days, which is about 23% of the total count.
Florida also reported 87 new virus-related deaths on Sunday, bringing the death toll for residents to 4,982.
The Bahamas previously banned travel from China, Iran, South Korea and Italy on the onset of the virus, but has since opened its borders to such countries as previoisly prohibited countries gained better control of COVID-19 cases in their respective countries.