Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Final Countdown To A New Reality: D’Aguilar Warns Phased Reopening Must Show We Can Meet July 1 Targets


Tourism and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
ts-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamas’ tourism industry will begin a phased opening on June 15 when boaters, yachters and private pilots will be allowed into the country, the Ministry of Tourism announced yesterday.

The industry’s much anticipated full opening will take place on July 1.

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar made the announcement at a Zoom press conference held by his ministry and the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Committee.

“This phased approach will start on June 15, when boaters, yachters and private aviation will be invited to experience The Bahamas destination,” Mr D’Aguilar said. “Tourism will begin with these smaller, special interest groups as they provide a more controlled segment to test its measure. These groups will have to pre-register electronically, allowing health officials to determine their risk level.”

He added that during this phase, commercial airlines will be allowed to bring in Bahamian citizens, legal residents, homeowners or their immediate family members. All returning residents will have to obtain a monocular swab PCR COVID-19 test with a negative result. On Monday, Mr D’Aguilar told The Tribune officials are still considering whether the government will require tourists to produce a negative PCR test result to gain entry into the country but have ruled out visitors being forced into quarantine.

It is anticipated that during this first phase, there will be a reduced number of flights and airlines will begin adding The Bahamas to their schedules once again.  Read more >>