The Bahamas government has
announced it is closing its borders to
commercial flights and ships from the
United States, as the island prepares
to enforce additional travel and safety
restrictions in attempt to curb the
spread of the CIVID-19.
In a statement posted to the web page
of the office of Bahamas Prime Minister,
Hubert Minnis, officials said that Bahamasair,
airline, has ceased all
outgoing flights to the
US, effective immediately
The total number of
cases in the Bahamas is 153. Officials
said about one third of these cases were
as a result of opening their borders
within the last few weeks.
In the statement, which includes
an extensive list of restrictions, Minnis
said the country is implementing
the travel restrictions due to a surge in
COVID-19 cases in the USA.
The restrictions include limiting
entry to the country’s airports and
“International commercial flights
and commercial vessels carrying passengers
will not be permitted to enter
our borders, except for commercial
flights from Canada, the United Kingdom
and the European Union,” the
It added that “international and
domestic borders will be closed to all
incoming and outgoing flights and sea
vessels to and from Grand Bahama,
except for emergencies and to transport
essential services and goods.”
Barbados and St. Vincent and the
Grenadines have agreed to sell their
shares in the cash-strapped regional
airline, LIAT, to accommodate a new
reorganizational plan outlined by Antigua
Antigua and Barbuda
Gaston Browne said,
after a shareholders
meeting an agreement had been
reached to sell three of the aircraft
that had been acquired with funds provided
by the Barbados-based Caribbean
Development Bank (CDB).
The other major shareholder government
of the Antigua-based airline is
He said at the meeting it was agreed
to sell the three planes that are owned
by LIAT and charged to the Caribbean
Browne said the loans, which were
actually guaranteed by the shareholder
governments, the proceeds from the
sale would be utilized to repay or reduce
the outstanding debt.
Caribbean Life, J 4 uly 31-August 6, 2020
Updated daily at www.caribbeanlifenews.com
Prime Minister of Bahamas Hubert Minnis addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters
in New York, U.S., Sept. 27, 2019. REUTERS / Brendan Mcdermid, fi le
He said there was also a decision that
St. Vincent and Barbados will turn over
their shares in LIAT to Antigua for one
EC dollar each. In addition, the government
of Antigua and Barbuda will work
along with the administrator to raise
additional capital to the new reorganized
LIAT 1974 Limited.
Browne said this reorganization will
include a significant haircut to all creditors
including staff and outstanding
severance, salaries and wages.
Antigua is promising to re-invest
EC$108 million and is prepared to
underwrite up to 50 percent of the
The Cayman Islands government said
it will begin a six-month phased reopening
of the borders to
air travelers from Sept.
Minister of Tourism,
said the phased return of tourism
will use testing and technology instead
of lengthy quarantine.
He said the plan is still in the embryonic
stage and will require much more
work before it can be rolled out and
tourists actually return.
The minister said the goal is to
change the quarantine system on Sept.
1 from government mandated facilities
to people isolating in their own homes
or in hotels.
Kirkconnell said the government was
not taking any risks, given the success
Cayman has had in tackling the
virus, but despite the concerns, keeping
the borders closed indefinitely was not
a reasonable or sustainable situation.
However, he stressed that this will be a
very conservative approach.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Lee
has been testing the device that will
be used to monitor visitors, which has
been approved by the US Food and Drug
Administration. It measures temperature,
pulse and breathing and issues an
alarm of any of the levels spike.
Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell
said Grenada will soon be reducing taxes
on airline tickets as part of measures
aimed at encouraging intra-regional
travel with the Caribbean
He said that this is
being done as the government
implements various strategies
to encourage travel within the region.
Speaking on the pending liquidation
of the regional airline, LIAT, Mitchell
said there are other airlines which will
be filling the void left by LIAT which
suspended its service in April after most
regional states shut down airports as
part of measures aimed at containing
Liat which has served the regional for
more than four decades has been experiencing
financial challenges before the
onset of the covid-19 pandemic and
the closure of the airports around the
regions placed in the airline states in a
more difficult position.
Most airports in the region re-opened
as of July 1 for commercial passengers
since closure in late March but since
then there has been little or no regional
commercial air traffic as only a few airlines
are offering services.
The Eastern Caribbean is significantly
affected by the non-availability
Noting that One Caribbean, St. Vincent
and the Grenadines Airways and
InterCaribbean as airlines, which are
about to include Grenada and other
Eastern Caribbean countries to their
routes, Dr. Mitchell said the reducing
airline taxes has become a necessity.
Jamaica says it has welcomed more
than 35,000 visitors since the island
reopened its borders on June 15.
Minister of Tourism,
said “we expect to have
another 30,000 by the
end of July and that
would bring us somewhere
in the region about US$80 million
in foreign exchange.”
The island’s airports and seaports
Continued on Page 14
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Bahamas closes borders to US flights