BAHAMIAN citizens and residents who were stuck in the United Kingdom and Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic are set to return home today.
Nearly 20 Bahamians who were stuck in Cuba arrived yesterday.
“COVID-19 has meant that families have found themselves kept apart due to border closures, travel restrictions, and lack of commercial air traffic routes,” a press release from the British High Commission noted. ‘With an ocean between them, those Bahamian nationals and residents in the United Kingdom and Europe have had a particularly tough waiting period to be united with their loved ones.”
British High Commissioner in Nassau Sarah Dickson said: “I heard that Bahamian nationals in the UK were finding it difficult to find routes home due to flight restrictions here in The Bahamas and in the US. I was happy to link up the Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bahamas High Commission London with the governor’s offices in Cayman and Turks and Caicos.
“I know how much we all want to be with our families at this difficult time and we are all neighbours in this region. I am really grateful for the help from Cayman and TCI for making this happen. This is a good example of how the UK and The Bahamas working together can achieve great results.”
A British Airways flight chartered by the Cayman Islands government is due to leave London today to fly direct to Providenciales. The Bahamian government has coordinated with the Turks and Caicos government to run a connecting Bahamasair flight to Nassau. Bookings for the special humanitarian flight were made available through the Bahamian High Commission London.
Last month, the Nassau Guardian reported that more than 50 Bahamians were stuck in the UK and Europe and they wanted to come home.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Tuesday that 19 Bahamians who were stranded in Cuba were set to return home via Bahamasair yesterday.
“As the Cuban border is still closed, the government of The Bahamas wishes to express its appreciation to the government of Cuba for permitting this relief flight access to allow these nationals and residents to return home,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs said it will continue to advise members of the public if additional flights are organised.
The government has previously organised flights for Bahamians to return home from the United States and Jamaica amid the pandemic. The country is expected to restart commercial international travel on July 1.