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Bahamas still closed to visitors until April 8 due to COVID-19 crisis

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From Carnival Cruise Lines website

#NASSAU, Bahamas, Issued on March 31, 2020– The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is following guidance from the Bahamas Ministry of Health and other government agencies pertaining to the country’s Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19.

Please visit the Bahamas Ministry of Health’s website for the latest information on COVID-19 cases in The Bahamas. Current and future patients are to be isolated in quarantine following the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Further to the Emergency Order, “Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (NO. 2) Order, 2020,” announced by Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) has closed the Lynden Pindling International Airport to all flights, as of Friday, March 27. The public is further advised that, effective March 27, all airports throughout the entire Bahamas shall be closed to all air traffic. 

The Emergency Order remains in effect until Wednesday, April 8, unless otherwise stated. Preventative restrictions are being enforced to prevent further spread of COVID-19, including:  

  • No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.
  • All airports throughout the entire Bahamas, including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs), shall be closed to all flights.  
  • All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
  • Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
  • All international visitors currently in The Bahamas should be prepared to stay for an indefinite period of time.
  • No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any mail boat, sailing inter island, except for transport of freight; or inter island private commercial sea transport.
  • All residents will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family, except for those who have been deemed essential workers, or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police.
  • Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel; as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., provided that the exercise is conducted in one’s yard or one’s immediate neighborhood and no person shall drive to any place to exercise.
  • Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet (6ft.) must be followed at all times while outside the home.
  • All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above.

Full details of this order and the previous Emergency Order may be found at opmbahamas.com.

The Bahamas is conducting COVID-19 testing and has been actively employing several measures used globally to screen visitors and residents and to manage the response to individuals of concern, in line with international health best practices. Traveller health questionnaires and a screening protocol have been used at ports, hotels and rental properties to identify guests who may require surveillance or treatment. In addition, all Bahamian nationals and residents returning to The Bahamas through any point of entry from any of the restricted countries​ or an area where community infection and spread is present, have been quarantined or placed under self-isolation upon arrival and are expected to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health.

A destination-wide education campaign continues to remind the public of the basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including frequent, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with those exhibiting signs of respiratory illness.

All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions, or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8 p.m. – 8 a.m. EDT).

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Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

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BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

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Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis pledges to govern in the interests of all Bahamians

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#TheBahamas, September 19, 2021 – During his ceremonial swearing-in today as the nation’s fifth Prime Minister, Hon. Philip Davis pledged to govern in the interests of all Bahamians and to consult widely with the Bahamian people.

The best way to make progress as a nation is to bring people together, said Prime Minister Davis, who was presented with his instruments of Office in ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre, on Saturday 18 September 2021.

Prime Minister Davis was officially sworn in as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Friday 17 September 2021 at the Office of the Governor General.

“We will uphold the constitution and the rule of law, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly, so that it’s not one rule for one set of people, and another for another set of people,” said the Prime Minister.

“There is much work to be done; but I know that by working together we can succeed and build the kind of prosperous, independent Bahamas that our founding fathers dreamed for us.”

Prime Minister Davis said that while there are big challenges ahead for The Bahamas, his team has the right vision and policies to take the country forward.

The Prime Minister said the new administration is coming into office at a time when the Bahamian people are hurting as never before.

The country faces many crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy in decline and deeply concerning challenges in education, said Prime Minister Davis.

If everyone works together towards a common purpose, in the common interest and for the common good, great things are possible for The Bahamas and its people, said the Prime Minister.

But no government can do great things on its own, Prime Minister Davis added.

“I am sure that my government can only succeed if we partner with the Bahamian people,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are going to listen, we are going to consult widely and we are going to bring people together.”

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18 September 2021
Office of the Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Contact: opmcommunications@bahamas.gov.bs
Website: opm.gov.bs

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