HAVANA (AP) — The Bahamas is banning travelers 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 travelers 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.