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American tourists banned from the Bahamas amid COVID-19 concerns


U.S. travelers are shut out of traveling to the Bahamas.

On Sunday, the country’s prime minister “made the difficult decision” to close its borders to international commercial flights and all commercial vessels carrying passengers from the United States.

Citing the increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Prime Minister Hubert Minnis took to Twitter to announce his changes to international travel during his national address.

As of Monday, 3,761,362 million cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.

More than 140,000 people have succumbed to the disease in the United States.

As more states start to reopen amid some portions of the U.S. population arguing that mask requirements, safety protocols and social distance measures infringe on their personal liberties, cases are starting to spike.

Minnis said the state of the pandemic in the Bahamas has grown worse “at an exponential rate” since the reopening of international borders, adding that its total cases stand at 153, including 49 new cases since the full reopening of borders July 1.

He also announced that Bahamasair flights to the U.S. would be stopped, effective immediately.

Outgoing flights will be permitted to accommodate any current visitors scheduled to return to the U.S. after July 22.

After July 22, private flights and charters from America, as well as pleasure craft and yachts will be permitted throughout the Island Of The Bahamas – with the exception of Freeport.

Visitors from Canada, the U.K. and the European Union are exempt from the emergency order.

All visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 test from a referenced lab, taken no more than 10 days prior to the date of travel.

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation officials said the restrictions were put in place “to protect the health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors, which remains of primary importance, and to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the Bahamas.”

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