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Little Exuma in The Bahamas.
News

The Bahamas Plans to Reopen for Tourism in July

By: Alexander Britell - June 2, 2020

The Bahamas is planning to reopen its doors for tourism on July 1, the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Aviation announced. 

The country is reopening under the guidelines of its new “Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan,” which will be an approved, comprehensive guide of health and safety protocols across the country. 

The program covers everything from entry and departure via airports and seaports to “extensive” health and safety protocols aimed at mitigating risks “for all visitors and residents alike.”

“Our top priority has and will always be our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. “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 reopening will come in several phases. 

bahamas tourism reopening
White Bay in Exuma.

On June 15, The Bahamas will allow for boaters, yachters and private aviation to return to the destination. 

These smaller groups will allow what officials are calling a “more controlled segment to test the country’s new measures.”

During that period, commercial airlines will be permitted to bring in Bahamian citizens, legal residents and homeowners qualifying for economic permanent residency, along with any immediate family members and significant others of these groups. 

All those who return will have to register at a Bahamian embassy or consulate and obtain a COVID-19 test with a negative result. 

In the first phase, hotels will reopen for staff to return to work and put in place all of the new measures. 

The second phase, which begins July 1, will allow for the resumption of international travel. 

That includes both international and domestic airlines; hotels and vacation rentals like Airbnb and HomeAway; and transportation. 

So what can travelers expect?

All visitors will receive temperature screenings by healthcare personnel. 

Travelers must wear face masks in “any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines, such as when entering and transiting air and sea terminals, while navigating security and customs screenings, and at baggage claim.”

On departure, flights will be scheduled at every other gate to provide “as much distance between flights as possible.” 

On-island, hotels and other accommodation providers will have to enforce extensive health and safety protocols, ranging from limiting the number of guests in elevators to discontinuing buffets. 

“The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation believes it is an absolute baseline requirement for consumers to have a comfort level that The Bahamas is a safe and healthy destination to visit, and the ultimate goal is for that to remain the case,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Accordingly, the reopening plan will continue to be monitored, with dates subject to change “based on COVID-19 trends.”

For more, visit The Bahamas

— CJ

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