MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Citing recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, the Bahamas will close its borders to travelers from the United States beginning Wednesday.
Flights and ships from the US will not be allowed in and the Bahamas will also stop all outgoing flights to the states.READ MORE: Storms Causing Flight Delays At South Florida Airports
“That means you cant fly American Airlines, JetBlue, or Southwest to the Bahamas if you are coming from the United States,” said Alexander Britell, founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Caribbean Journal.
Some exemptions may be made for emergency and essential personnel.
Bahamas Air, the air bridge to the Bahamas, has already suspended flights to and from the states.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said travelers from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe will still be allowed.
While the order shuts off most of the major tourist trade in downtown Nassau, the government has announced the beaches will remain open and restaurants on Grand Bahama can maintain full service.READ MORE: COVID In Florida: 5,520 New Cases, 9 Deaths Reported On Sunday
The Bahamas reopened to tourists on July 1st and since then have seen an increase in cases, something which is worrisome for the country.
“That’s the problem facing most of the Caribbean. They do not have a whole lot of ICU beds, they are very small countries, very small populations. It is just a risk those countries can’t afford to take,” said Britell.
Not all travel to the islands is banned, however.
“If you are a boater, have a pleasure craft, you can still do that,” said Britell.
Private and charter flights, along with private boats and yachts, will still be permitted to enter.MORE NEWS: Former President Trump Targets McConnell, Pence During Speech To GOP Donors
Anyone traveling to the Bahamas will have to have a negative COVID-19 test 10 days or less before traveling or will be required to quarantine for 14 days.