EDITOR, The Tribune.
Our family have been regular visitors to The Bahamas for many years and have enjoyed coming for a lovely vacation. The direct flight from London to Nassau on British Airways is convenient. However this year it would appear our hopes for a holiday are slim due to your unrealistic entry rules.
I have just read in your recent edition that the Minister of Finance is forecasting tourist growth as you start to reopen in October and is giving financial projections as to revenues to be generated by tourism. He needs to get a reality check immediately. Is there any coordination between the Finance and Tourism officials?
When we went to our agent at a large travel office in Bournemouth to book and the entry rules were explained it was unbelievable. We live in a quiet part of southern England by the sea where there are very few cases of COVID-19. Finding a health clinic to give healthy people a COVID test is a major problem. Having to wait for and then send a written result to Nassau for a Health Visa and not knowing when an authorisation will be sent back makes booking an air ticket and accommodation very risky.
Your rules state that we must be on the ground in Nassau within five days of the test which is an impossible task. Then when we would arrive we must be placed in a quarantine for two weeks which is not very realistic.
We want to go out and about and enjoy the sights and restaurants. Our travel agent and staff describe it as “a tourist prison”. We have already endured enough lockdowns and do not want to be restricted when we go on a holiday. If we would stay more than that period of time we must take yet another COVID test at an expensive cost. The travel agent said British Airways has not resumed service because of low demand and we would be forced to travel on Air Canada through Toronto as the only route.
The whole procedure is overwhelming and we have been advised to forget The Bahamas as all their clients are no longer interested because there are other Caribbean destinations not imposing these difficult measures.
Your officials are quickly destroying the tourism industry and your Finance Minister’s projections will be way off base. We love visiting The Bahamas but entry requirements will have to change very quickly or there will be no tourist season at all. It is all very sad.
September 20, 2020.