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Thu, Mar 26, 2020

Bahamas Issues Emergency Travel Restrictions

New Limits Effective March 24 - 31, 2020

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the islands of the Bahamas, the Most Honorable Doctor Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, have evoked new emergency powers on Monday, March 23, 2020, to be in effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM through Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Notably, as of the date of the release, the Bahamas Ministry of Health has confirmed only four cases of COVID-19 in Nassau.

The new emergency measures include:
A 24-Hour Country-Wide Curfew
♦ Every Non-Essential Establishment or Business Shall Remain Closed. NOTE: Hotels are allowed to remain open, but all casinos, spas, gyms, discotheques and restaurants therein must remain closed. Hotel restaurants may offer take-away or room service.

Restriction on International Travel:
♦ Except with the prior written permission of the Competent Authority, all airports including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs) shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor.
♦ All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
♦ No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason, including transiting through The Bahamas.

The travel restriction above does not apply to a) Outgoing flights or outgoing ships, as the case may be; b) Cargo flights or cargo ships, as the case may be; c) Commercial courier flights; d) Emergency medical flights; and e) Emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Additionally, no person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any a) mail boat, sailing inter island, except for transport of freight; or b) inter- island private commercial sea transport, provided that the Competent Authority may vary any of the requirements above by Order.

Occasional Markets (e.g., Fish Fry) and ALL Public Beaches have been closed.

Bahamas Ministry of Health understands the need for increased flexibility with travel planning right now. To assist guests in their travel decisions, the ministry has encouraged all of our hotel members – for bookings made directly with them – to relax their cancellation policies. Please contact your hotel directly. Guests who booked via online travel agents or other third parties are advised to contact their booking provider for information on their policies and for assistance.

(Source: The Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board Support Team news release)

FMI: www.bahamas.com/vendor/bahamas-out-island-promotion-board

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