Less than three weeks after reopening its borders to international visitors, the Bahamas on Sunday announced that it is closing all of its airports and seaports to tourists from the United States, effective Wednesday.
Bahamasair, the country’s national carrier, will cease all outgoing flights to the United States immediately, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a national address Sunday.
Outgoing commercial flights will still be permitted to accommodate visitors scheduled to leave the Bahamas after Wednesday, he said.
Visitors from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union will still be permitted to visit as long as they can show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test from an accredited laboratory taken within 10 days of their arrival.
Also allowed under the new order: private international flights and charters and pleasure crafts.
On Sunday, the Bahamas Ministry of Health registered 15 new cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, for a total tally of 153 cases, Minnis said.
Of the total, 49 new infections have been recorded since the country’s borders fully reopened on July 1.
And of that number, 31 have been registered on the island of Grand Bahama, which had been COVID-19 free for a little over two months and is still recovering from last year’s devastating hurricane.