Given the growing public health concern and to protect the health and well-being of the population of The Bahamas, Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, has announced the enactment of an additional Emergency Order, “Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (NO. 2) Order, 2020.”
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is following guidance from the Bahamas Ministry of Health and other government agencies pertaining to the country’s Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19. At this time, there are 4 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nassau, The Bahamas. Patients are isolated in quarantine following the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
New Emergency Powers and Regulations will be enforced under this order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, effective 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will expire at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, unless otherwise stated. Preventative restrictions include:
- No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.
- All airports including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs) shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor unless written permission of the Competent Authority has been granted.
- All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
- Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: outgoing flights or ships, cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
- All international visitors currently in The Bahamas are urged to immediately work with their airline to make travel arrangements to safely return home. Those who choose to remain in The Bahamas should prepare to do so for an indefinite period of time.
- No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any mail boat, sailing inter island, except for transport of freight; or inter island private commercial sea transport.
- All residents will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family, except for those who have been deemed essential workers, or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police.
- Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel; as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet (6ft.) must be followed at all times while outside the home.
- All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above.
Full details of this order and the previous Emergency Order may be found at opmbahamas.com.
The Bahamas is conducting COVID-19 testing and has been actively employing several measures used globally to screen visitors and residents and to manage the response to individuals of concern, in line with international health best practices. Traveller health questionnaires and a screening protocol have been used at ports, hotels and rental properties to identify guests who may require surveillance or treatment. In addition, all Bahamian nationals and residents returning to The Bahamas through any point of entry from any of the restricted countries or an area where community infection and spread is present have been quarantined or placed under self-isolation upon arrival and are expected to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health.
A destination-wide education campaign continues to remind the public of the basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including frequent, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with those exhibiting signs of respiratory illness.
All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions, or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8 p.m. – 8 a.m. EDT).