( Nassau Bahamas CMC )The Bahamas government has removed the mandatory 14-day quarantine, allowing visitors to the Caribbean country to stay at hotels, go to beaches, “to enjoy some of our world famous excursions and activities and, most importantly, to abide by our health and safety protocols”.
Tourism and Aviation Minister, Dionisio D’Aguilar said the new regulation came into effect on Sunday and as a result, the Emergency Orders will be revised to reflect that change.
He said that when The Bahamas closed its borders in March to protect against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic “never did we imagine that seven months later the impact of the virus would remain so severe.
“As a country, we have encountered much hardship from this deadly coronavirus. We have made many sacrifices, have faced huge financial hardship, endured ever increasing emotional and mental stress, have juggled roles and responsibilities, both personally and professionally, and have had to exponentially change our lifestyles. This has not been easy.”
He said, sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on global tourism, adding that the latest data from the World Tourism Organization showed that international tourism is down a whopping 70 per cent.
“Put another way, if we used to get 7.2 million tourists a year, as we did just last year in 2019, the best we can expect right now is 2.2 million tourists a year – a reduction of a staggering five million tourists, assuming we all do our part to prevent, diminish and stop further community spread of this deadly virus by wearing our masks, social distancing and not congregating in groups, both large and small.”
D’Aguilar said what’s more, the World Travel & Tourism Council just released new research indicating that 174 million travel & tourism jobs could be lost in 2020 if global travel restrictions remain in place.