PM House of Assembly COVID-19 Communication

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Prime Minister Minnis - Communications in the House of Assembly - November 18, 2020

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis today in the House of Assembly applauded health measures in the country, noting that Covid-19 numbers are on a downward trend. Apart from new cases in Exuma and Grand Bahama, Prime Minister Minnis says that the country has battled through the waves and that the measures are working. He also addressed several concerns, including tests that must be taken for travel.

“I wish to be very clear and to remind Bahamians and residents travelling overseas that no Covid-19 RT PCR test taken in the Bahamas is valid for a travel health visa in order to return to the Bahamas” the Prime Minister said.   The requirement for those entering the country, including returning citizens and residents must have the International Travel Health Visa. The new protocols create a two-prong approach to fight COVID-19 in the Bahamas. In addition to the health visa and mandatory rapid antigen test on the fifth day of arrival for those staying longer than 4 nights and 5 days; a daily online health survey has been implemented.  

“The Health Screening Survey or as we have called the Risk Analysis is an important part in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and ensuring that the Bahamas is safe for all to enjoy. Participation in this survey is mandatory those who fail to comply will be subject to penalties.”   The Prime Minister said that a fine will be applied if individuals fail to comply with the survey that is said to be critical for health officials.   “Citizens residents and visitors who do not complete the survey will be fined $100 per day or one week in prison” he said.   The health survey will enable further monitoring of and response to any possible instances of Covid-19.  

“Ministry of Health will also be studying the results of the health survey to significantly test and evaluate the health protocols.”   Those travelling domestically from islands with no COVID cases will not need a visa, however those travelling from islands with COVID cases will need a visa.   “The Domestic Health Visa will replace the 14-day quarantine requirement for those travelling from New Providence. The question has been asked by members of the press repeatedly about the quarantine in the family islands. Once the Domestic Travel Visa is in place then the quarantine will fall away being replaced by the questionnaire risk assessment analysis daily and the 5-day rapid test.”

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