The Bahamas Tourism Minister, Dionisio D'Aguilar, said this Sunday that the authorities of the Atlantic archipelago will implement all the necessary measures to facilitate the arrival of cruise ships.
D'Aguilar noted that the Bahamas, which has suffered serious economic losses due to the closure of borders due to the COVID
-19 pandemic, will welcome the cruise ships as soon as they begin to sail from US ports, at a press conference.
D'Aguilar's words come after the MSC Cruises shipping company announced on Saturday that it plans to start cruise activity with stops in the Bahamas next November.
MSC Cruises revealed that it plans to travel to the Bahamas during the months of November and December, with scheduled stops in Nassau and Ocean Cay, in the Bimini district, where the itinerary could include an overnight stop.
The Minister of Tourism clarified that both the Bahamas and the cruise lines will have to abide by the COVID
-19 protocols that will govern the industry.
Companies want to enter the port of Nassau, which is good news, stressed D'Aguilar.
We have to make the system work, said the official, whose country reopened borders to tourism in July, causing a drastic increase in contagion cases that forced a return to initial containment measures.
MSC Cruises includes several possible itineraries for November, including a stop in the Bahamian capital, Nassau, and the Marina Ocean Cay.
The company, along with other cruise lines, postponed the start of its activity until November, in accordance with the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States.
The Bahamas recently announced that it will stop requiring tourists visiting the Atlantic archipelago to spend a quarantine period in the place chosen for their stay, but in exchange, starting next November 1, they must undergo a molecular test prior to travel to demonstrate who are not infected with COVID
Tourism alone provides roughly 60% of the Bahamas GDP and employs roughly half of its workforce, which gives an idea of what COVID
-19 has meant for this Atlantic archipelago.
According to estimates by local authorities, the Bahamas may lose $2.7 billion in tourism revenue if the COVID
-19 pandemic continues until the end of 2020.
Bahamas, since the beginning of the pandemic, has registered 4,220 cases of contagion by COVID
-19 and 96 deaths.