The Bahamas will reopen to tourists on July 1 – but with a few pandemic-inspired changes. So just what can tourists expect when they visit the island nation?
According to People, one of the main changes will be at the airports where incoming passengers will have their temperature checked.
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Visitors should also make sure to pack a face mask. Although wearing a face covering won’t be mandatory, they are required in “any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines, while navigating security and customs screenings, and at baggage claim,” and also when riding in a taxi cab.
People reports shuttle and taxi cabs must operate at 50 percent capacity with no passengers allowed in the front seat. Hotels will distribute hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to guests and hotel staff will be subject to temperature checks. Buffets will not reopen at this time. All foods will be single, or prepackaged and all restaurant staff must wear gloves and masks at all times.
Other measures include limited capacity inside shops and social distancing on the beaches with chairs being placed six-feet apart.
Tourists to the country shouldn’t expect to visit every island in the nation either. According to People, only islands that have contained the coronavirus outbreak will be allowed to reopen to tourists. These include Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros, Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Ragged Island and Rum Cay.
“We must remember that we are living in a new normal in the wake of COVID-19 and a lot is going to change across the tourism sector,” said the ministry’s Director General Joy Jibrilu in a statement reported by People. “We are putting an even greater emphasis on making sure The Bahamas is safe and clean for everyone, and look forward to once again providing travelers with the tropical experience our islands are known for.”