Three weeks after reopening its borders, the Bahamas is shutting them again—at least to most US travelers. Effective Wednesday, all commercial flights to the country will be halted except for those departing Canada, the UK, and the European Union, reports CNBC. Private international flights, pleasure craft, and yachts will still be accepted regardless of departure point, but all overseas travelers must have an approved Health Visa. They must also present a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 10 days old, says Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. In an additional step, national airline Bahamasair will cease all outgoing flights to the United States.
The Bahamas had been free of COVID-19 cases for two months when it began accepting commercial airlines on July 1. Since then, it has seen dozens of new cases, per Travel and Leisure. "If we do not take these measures now, we will pay a higher and deadlier price later," says Minnis. He adds "while there are countries that continue to make progress, such progress can be reversed because of what is happening in neighboring and other countries." Even those who are permitted to enter will find many beaches and parks closed. CNN reports 50% of the Bahamas’ GDP comes from tourism, and most tourists to the country each year hail from the US. (Read more Bahamas stories.)