Reddit | tugb0ats

The Bahamas Closes Ports And Airports To American Tourists Due To COVID-19

One of the most frustrating things about 2020 is the fact that even one of the issues weighing on our minds lately would have defined the years they came to a head in. Of course, we know they're all happening at once, which manages to be both anxiety-inducing and exhausting all at once.

Although that's arguably true everywhere right now, the tropical paradise of the Bahamas is no exception to that sad reality.

We know that tourism industries throughout the world have been brought to their knees by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that couldn't have come at a worse time for the Bahamas since they were already experiencing the fallout from the economic devastation brought about by Hurricane Dorian last year.

And that goes to show that the nation's latest policy for which tourists they can welcome and which they must turn away likely came with a heavy heart.

On July 1, the Bahamas reopened its borders to international travel.

Reddit | ipeppe

As CNN Travel reported, there were no quarantine requirements when they did this, but the travel health visa application required a negative coronavirus test at least 10 days prior to arrival.

Almost three weeks later, however, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced that not all of the world's nations could send tourists to the islands.

Twitter | @minnis_dr

As USA Today reported, he said, "In neighboring countries, hospitals are overwhelmed and deaths are increasing. For some places it is unclear when or how they will get this virus under control."

Since the nation's borders reopened, the Bahamas has seen 49 new cases. While that may not sound like much, it also represents an entire third of the cases they've seen since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

As a result, international passenger flights from much of the world will not be permitted into the borders of the Bahamas starting July 22 and Bahamasair will cease all flights to the United States effective immediately.

Reddit | Mr-LePresident

According to USA Today, this cuts the Bahamas off from the U.S. in general and the state of Florida in particular, which is its largest source of tourists.

Outgoing commercial flights will be permitted after Wednesday to allow tourists to return home.

Reddit | tugb0ats

As stated above, these restrictions apply to most nations throughout the world with the exception of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the countries that make up the European Union.

As USA Today reported, visitors from these nations will need to show a negative COVID-19 test result from an accredited lab.

In his statement about this policy change, Minnis warned that the progress the Bahamas have made since the pandemic began can be reversed if others ignore health guidelines.

Twitter | @chreaton

As he said, "Our current situation demands decisive action, if we are to avoid being overrun and defeated by this virus. We cannot allow our hospitals to be overrun. Many priorities must be balanced, be they health, social and economic. Chief amongst these though is the health."

h/t: USA Today