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Aerial view of Atlantis Paradise Island, off the coast of Nassau, The Bahamas. (Photo: Sports Illustrated)

Bahamas could allow commercial flights by July 1

Aerial view of Atlantis Paradise Island, off the coast of Nassau, The Bahamas. (Photo: Sports Illustrated)

International travel to The Bahamas could restart by July, said Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Dr Hubert Minnis

In a national broadcast last evening, Minnis said commercial transportation to the archipelago could begin on or before July 1, however that is contingent on the efforts to contain the coronavirus.

He said decision regarding the phased reopening of the economy and aspects of daily life would be made on advice provided by the health authorities.

“Our resorts, our airports and our seaports are finalising the health and safety protocols that will be necessary for us to provide for a re-opening.”

– Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Dr Hubert Minnis

“We must abide by regional and global health protocols as we reopen our economy and society,” he said, adding“if advised by health officials, we will return to certain phases or re-impose certain restrictions in order to limit community spread.

“I fully understand the anxiety and frustration of many Bahamians and residents to reopen our economy. But we must act with prudence and good judgement. We have to balance the health, economic and social needs of citizens and residents.

“As you know, we are still in Phase 1B of the national reopening plan, but we have started to introduce components of Phase 2 as the country fully transitions into the second phase of the plan,” he said, adding that as of Monday, at Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros will now be able to resume commercial activity.

“Let me reemphasize to all of the Family Islands that are able to resume commercial activity that weekday curfews and weekend lockdown measures still remain in place, as do physical distancing measures and the requirement to wear masks.”

However, Minnis said the administration is advanced in its planning of its reopening of the tourism sector. “Our resorts, our airports and our seaports are finalising the health and safety protocols that will be necessary for us to provide for a re-opening.”

There have been 96 cases of the virus in The Bahamas with 11 deaths recorded.