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Travel Health Visas No Longer Needed For Inter-Island Trips

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HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville.

By FARRAH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville on Friday said travel health visas are no longer required for inter-island trips, although the government is still working on addressing the “necessary protocols” before it moves into eliminating the international travel health visa.

Mr Darville spoke about a recent amendment to the existing Emergency Powers Order while speaking to reporters following his tour of facilities at the Sandliland’s Rehabilitation Centre.

“In our 10-point plan during the campaign trail and as opposition, we made it clear that we did not see the significance of the travel visa and we said it very clearly, that once the opportunity arose, we would eliminate it,” he said.

“So, we did an assessment with the travel visa inter-island and we found it to be a very cumbersome thing to do and we found a lot of individuals in the Family Islands, particularly those suffering from noncommunicable and chronic diseases (who) needed to travel back and forth to the capital, they were finding difficulty to do so.”

Dr Darville said the elimination of the inter-island travel visa means individuals who are on the Family Islands who need to come to New Providence only need a government approved negative antigen test as they are coming from areas of “low infectivity” for the most part.

He said individuals who are vaccinated and need to travel from New Providence or Grand Bahama can now do so with an antigen test, while those who are not vaccinated will need a PCR test.

“So that travel visa has now been eliminated inter-island,” he said. “When we’re going international, the travel visa will remain in place at this particular time because there are some other issues that we need to deal with and so we’ve decided to do away with inter-island travel visa, while we work on the necessary protocols before we move into eliminating the travel visa internationally.”

In a statement on Friday, Dr Darville noted many residents have been affected by the travel regime established under various Emergency Powers Orders. He said after speaking with health care professionals and receiving approval from Cabinet, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis signed the COVID-19 Pandemic Management and Recovery Order.

The amendment removes the requirement for a travel health visa for inter-island travel. It states that vaccinated persons travelling inter-island from New Providence and Grand Bahama will now only be required to produce a negative result of a rapid antigen test approved by the Ministry of Health, and if unvaccinated, travellers are required to produce a negative PCR result at the point of embarkation to the operator of the airline or vessel on which they are travelling.

For persons travelling inter-island from any other islands of The Bahamas, only a negative result antigen test is required; the requirement for secondary testing for inter-island travellers is now removed.

The travel health visa is still required for Bahamian citizens, residents and visitors entering The Bahamas. The payment of the travel health visa fee is no longer required for Bahamian citizens and residents returning to The Bahamas, the order states.

Dr Darville said his ministry is satisfied that the amendment would “lift a considerable financial burden” off travellers while simultaneously ensuring the health and safety of the general public.

Comments

whogothere 1 month ago

Thats it - let go.. let it all go... common sense and reasonable policy..next step stop vaccine status segregation...both unvaccinated and vaccinated spread the disease; the vaccinated spread possibly seemingly at higher viral loads...unilateral testing should be the only gatekeeper if you must and it should be as close to free as possible...covid antibody count should open doors too..Vaccine efficacy fades we know that - natural immunity however goes for how long? We don't know how it long lasts because it rarely fails...we're still trying to cap that number all indications are many many times vaccine protective period without unknown side effects of multiple jabs...

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Emilio26 1 month ago

So are you suggesting the restaurants and bars to drop the mask requirement and stop asking customers to produce a negative PCR test?

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whogothere 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Yep absolutely enough is enough. Masks have not yet been proven to do anything particularly in restaurant and bar situations. Lamp/Antigen test only entering LTC facilities/ Hospitals etc.

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mirkovonkovats@gmail.com 1 month ago

Excellent first move. Abolish this useless travel health visa. $9 m wasted people’s money. Who benefited??? Vaccination and tests are sufficient. Upload for $9 m - who needs that?

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Alan1 1 month ago

That is very good news. Let us hope the Visa will very soon be abolished for international visitors . Our tourism has been very badly affected by this cumbersome unnecessary Visa. There have been so many complaints from well meaning travel agents in the U.S.A.,Canada and the U.K. They all say it has been the greatest deterrent to getting bookings for The Bahamas. Visitors cannot be bothered completing all the bureaucratic requirements when they can go to nearly all other southern destinations without any hassles at all. We need visitors desperately. If they can show double vaccination certificates at the airport they should be given a boarding pass and on their way to our country. A return to easier access to us is required immediately!

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happyfly 1 month ago

they have not removed the entry requirements from overseas. Prey this will happen soon

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

Not gonna happen. Especially with the US requiring people to be vaccinated and provide evidence of a test. Ttavel everywhere will likely use the same approach

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limeyconch 1 month ago

Interesting, just had to pay last nigh for my wife and I who are both Bahamian Citizens! oh well there goes my $80 donation to the general fund!!!

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tribanon 1 month ago

If I robbed you at gun point, would you say you gave me a donation?

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carltonr61 1 month ago

https://www.rt.com/uk/535168-covid-an...">https://www.rt.com/uk/535168-covid-an...

Faced with 3/4/5/6 booster shots and a no go convincing jabers that route is for life, UK finally opted to begin treatment over death.

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JokeyJack 4 weeks, 1 day ago

That is a disgusting lie. They are only offering a new experimental drug cocktail to kill you with. Please dont promote this rubbish.

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tribanon 1 month ago

This pandemic was both created and used by the evil architects behind the so called "New World Order" for the main purpose of population control and stopping certain migratory patterns that are perceived as a growing economic and national security threat to various developed nations around the world. I suspect it will not be too long now before The Bahamas and Bahamians learn their true value on this planet as a country and a people in the eyes of the evil forces at play. Will we be left to be devoured by an unchecked and relentless invading force of Haitian nationals?

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TalRussell 1 month ago

I wasn't expecting, PLP's, already into its 9th-day governance — There still, hasn't been the announcement of 12-Step recoveries from the illness Covid, — left behind by the now downsized from 35 — once, all-powerful weaponized House-elected Red MPs — to nominal 7. — House-seats, mostly elected from constituencies, known to hold onto the old UBP voter base, — Yes?

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DWW 4 weeks ago

lOTS oF yOUtUBE eXPERTS hERE tODAY. gOOD lUCK wITH tHAT. idk because I Got Vaccinated.

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carltonr61 4 weeks ago

You will need a vaccine booster every 120 days because after four months the vaccine spirals into decline 35% threshold efficacy and dropping. After four months of your last vaccine you are then considered not vaccinated and 100% more likely to get ill than a non vaccinated person. You screwed something up in your body. Sad. Our national vaccination is five months behind most Western industrialized level one nations and massive deaths and hospitilizations occurred like a Sin Wave pattern. Go research. Without the introduction of drug interdiction, oxygen alone cannot pass through a lung congested with thick pneumonia phlegm, you will suffocate after your o2 level drops below 90 on the Oxymeter. Ivervectin and hydroxichloroquine with Zinc, C and D3 will save your life 100%. Only natural immunity is better that is why our death rate per population stands around 0.0005%.

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carltonr61 4 weeks ago

Hundreds of Bahamians died because WHO refuses to acknowledge medical treatment, relying on forcing o2 across your lungs. But, WHO is funded by Vax companies and shareholders, they dare not speak against their masters. They are pro Vax because it pays their billion dollar saleries. The truth is not within them.

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carltonr61 4 weeks ago

Trouble for WHO vaccine profits in Mali Africa. Africa's 1.4 billion population will now receive Russia Sputnik 5. The French revenge for loosing the 60 billion dollar Australia submarine contract to US/UK will cost the Western Industrial global Complex trillions.

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