Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Ministry of Tourism Back-Pedals On Negative COVID-19 Test Result for Bahamian Guests at Hotels

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The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation is walking back a negative COVID-19 test requirement for Bahamians on hotel property, which has garnered criticism from the public.

The ministry says, “Following consultation with the Ministry of Health, the Competent Authority (who is Prime Minister Hubert Minnis) has affirmed that a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test will not be required by Bahamian and resident guests of hotels.”

Just yesterday, a press release from the ministry said hotels and resorts should not allow international guests nor Bahamian residents on property without negative COVID-19 test results, as the ministry said it was aware of special offers and packages being offered by hotels for Bahamian residents during the weekend lockdown periods.

Now today, the ministry says it has recommended, and the Competent Authority has agreed to, two provisions:

1. The Public Health measures that the Ministry of Health has put in place for the protection of the public, inclusive of mask wearing, social distancing and sanitization protocols, be strictly adhered to. These are detailed in the Emergency Powers Orders, on the Ministry of Health’s website and in the manual created by the Ministry of Tourism and approved by the Ministry Health for the reopening of our tourism industry.

2. Indoor dining is to be closed.

The ministry says the Royal Bahamas Police Force will be particularly vigilant in its surveillance of hotel properties to ensure compliance and warned that properties will be fined and/or closed per the Orders if they are found to be in violation.


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