The Bahamas is banning travellers from the United States starting Wednesday after a surge in coronavirus infections followed the islands’ reopening to international tourism.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Sunday that the country had seen 49 new coronavirus infections since it opened on July 1, nearly a third of the total of 153 cases seen on the island since the start of the pandemic.
Most of the islands’ visitors come from the United States, many from Florida, which has high and climbing rates of infection from the novel coronavirus.
“Regrettably, the situation here at home has already deteriorated since we began the reopening of our domestic economy,” Minnis said. “It has deteriorated at an exponential rate since we reopened our international borders.”
Minnis said travellers from the United Kingdom, Europe and Canada will still be allowed to visit the Bahamas. Visitors and Bahamas citizens will need to present proof of negative results from a molecular Covid test upon entry.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported earlier this month that The European Union has excluded the United States from its initial “safe list” of countries from which the bloc will allow non-essential travel from July 1.
The 27-member bloc gave majority approval on June 30 to leisure or business travel from 14 countries beyond its borders, the Council of the EU, which represents EU governments.
The countries include Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
China has also been provisionally approved, although travel would only open up if Chinese authorities also allowed in EU visitors.
United States were among countries whose containment of the virus is considered worse than the EU average.