Amid Covid Surge, Grand Bahama is Shut Down

 - July 23, 2020, 12:23 PM
In an attempt to stem a rising tide of Covid cases, the Bahamian government has issued a two-week shut down for Grand Bahama Island, including its international airport in Freeport. (Photo: Curt Epstein)

The Bahamas, which reopened its borders earlier this month, is instituting a two-week lockdown starting today for Grand Bahama after experiencing a surge of Covid-19 infections. This move will take effect at 7 p.m. ET and tentatively run through 5 a.m. ET August 7. During that period, all non-emergency or international flights to and from the island will be prohibited.

In an alert from NBAA, the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center was quoted as stating: “Aircraft on the ground will be allowed to depart with crewmembers only. This affects all traffic and is not limited to just the United States.” This latest announcement follows an earlier edict, effective last night, banning all scheduled international flights anywhere in the island country from anywhere but Canada, the UK, and the EU. Outside of Grand Bahama, international private and charter flights are still permitted, with certain health requirements.

U.S. citizens planning to depart Grand Bahama are being urged by the U.S. Embassy to do so immediately while they are able to and, according to OpsGroup, the Bahamian government noted that it will also prohibit boats from arriving or departing the island.

Those remaining will face restrictions, including weekday travel limited to essential trips to food stores, pharmacies, and gas stations between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., with sheltering in place ordered at all other times.