The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, along with the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Committee, a group comprised of public and private sector partners, has unveiled details of a collaborative plan for re-opening the country’s borders and tourism sector, as well as the resumption of international commercial travel starting July 1.
Details of its “Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan” were unveiled recently and it is an approved, comprehensive guide of health and safety protocol to be followed consistently across the country.
From procedures pertaining to entering and departing The Bahamas via airports and seaports, to a Clean & Pristine certification program implemented across hotels, restaurants and other consumer-facing tourism entities and touchpoints, the plan outlines extensive health and safety protocols that will be enforced throughout The Bahamas to mitigate risks for all visitors and residents alike.
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General, Joy Jibrilu said: “Our top priority has and will always be our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors. We must remember that we are living in a new normal in the wake of COVID-19 and a lot is going to change across the tourism sector. We are putting an even greater emphasis on making sure The Bahamas is safe and clean for everyone, and look forward to once again providing travelers with the tropical experience our islands are known for.”
The Bahamas’ tourism dependent economy will gradually come back online, following a strategic, phased approach that ensures critical health and safety protocols are being adhered to, and that the Health sector remains well equipped and ready to respond as necessary.
Phase 1, beginning on June 15, will allow for boaters, yachters and private aviation to return to the destination.
These smaller special interest groups will allow a more controlled segment to test the country’s new measures.
Also, during this phase, commercial airlines will be allowed to bring in Bahamian citizens, legal residents, home-owners qualifying for economic permanent residency, or the immediate family members or significant others of any of these groups.
- All returning persons will continue to have to register at a Bahamas embassy or consulate and obtain a COVID-19 test with a negative result.
- It is anticipated that during this period of time there will be a reduced flight schedule as airlines begin adding The Bahamas to their schedules once again.
Additionally, during Phase 1 hotels will re-open for staff to return to work and put in place all the measures required to ensure they are ready to welcome guests at the onset of Phase 2.
In Phase 2, which begins July 1, it allows for the resumption of international travel, including:
- Commercial airlines, both international and domestic
- Hotels and vacation rentals, inclusive of Airbnb and HomeAway
- Transportation ranging from taxis to jitneys and buses
The timing of the other phases and sectors will be announced shortly.
Reopening of borders will continue to be monitored and guided by The Bahamas government and health officials. Dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 trends, if there is a deterioration in improvement or if government and health organizations deem these phases unsafe for residents or visitors.
Go to www.bahamas.com for more.