May 07, 2020

New Details on COVID-19 Bahamas Travel Restrictions

Bahamas beach with striped lighthouse

Update On Bahamas Travel Restrictions Due to Coronavirus

Never before have our neighbors to the east felt so far. As traveling lock downs prevail, a question much of the yachting community are itching to know the answer to, is when will it be safe enough and when will we allowed to travel to our beloved Bahamas again? There are many dynamics being considered by the Bahamian government before reopening their boarders to tourist, but a date may be sooner than you think.

Latest From The Bahamian Government

Yacht Management South Florida has kept a close eye for any news and updates on the Bahamas nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our team understands how eager many yacht owners and crew are to get back out into the water and return to the Caribbean. Currently, the Bahamas remains under emergency orders and is not allowing any international visitors. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation released a statement announcing these emergency orders to remain in effect until May 30.[1]

Potential Dates For When Yachts Can Return

On a live video chat with TravelPulse Canada, Bahamas Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said that the country is eager to welcome in visitors soon. While he did not say when travel restrictions to the Bahamas would be lifted, Tourism Minister D’Aguilar did stress how important tourism was the Bahamian economy.

"We’re one of the most tourism dependent countries in world. Just over 40% of our GDP is generated from tourism. Fifty per cent of employment is attributable to tourism, and when you add indirect employment it’s 60 to 70%. Last year we had a record 7.2 million international visitors and now we're down to zero. So the economic impact of this is huge. It’s causing untold stress. We’re all sitting on the edge of our seat waiting to get on the other side of this.” – Bahamas Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar [2]

Is It Safe To Return To The Bahamas?

Yacht owners and the wide yachting industry will have to wait until the end of May to see if the Bahamas travel restrictions will either be lifted or extended. If they are lifted, many regular visitors to the islands may be anxious about their safety. The Bahamas has seen positive cases of COVID-19. However, the number of cases in the Bahamas is small compared to other countries and cases have only been found on three of its 700 islands: Nassau, Grand Bahama and Bimini.

"We have a small number of COVID-19 cases in the country that have resulted in approximately 11 deaths. It is somewhat under control and we are pleased with the progress of containing the virus and the spread of it.” – Bahamas Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar [2]

Once the borders do open again, Tourism Minister D’Aguilar suggested that visitors who feel big resorts in Nassau are too big a risk should consider visiting sparsely populated islands such as Eleuthera, Andros and Exuma. On those islands, the beaches won’t be as crowded and following social distancing rules will be a lot easier. Yacht owners can still enjoy the Bahamas waters and beaches without ever leaving their vessels!

 

Yacht Management South Florida, Inc. is a Fort Lauderdale yacht management company specializing in complete yacht care. Our team of yacht managers and technicians work together to ensure stress-free yacht ownership to all our clients. Contact us or call (954) 941-6447 today to schedule maintenance for your yacht!

 

Sources

  1. The Islands of The Bahamas – BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM & AVIATION STATEMENT ON COVID-19
  2. Jim Byers, TravelPulse Canada – Facebook Live: Bahamas Eagerly Awaits Return of Visitors
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