Government can’t risk life of citizens by allowing travellers from Haiti: Darren

Darren Henfield - Minister of Foreign Affairs on 14 May 2021, stated, "The government cannot bear to risk the safety of Bahamians or the potential for The Bahamas economy to rebound by allowing travellers from Haiti.

Bahamas: Darren Henfield – Minister of Foreign Affairs on 14 May 2021, stated, “The government cannot bear to risk the safety of Bahamians or the potential for The Bahamas economy to rebound by allowing travellers from Haiti.

A few days back, the ministry extended the travel ban on Haiti island for a further one month, beginning from May 12. Haiti has yet to get a vaccine program.

Henfield further added, “When we began the travel ban, it started with the carnival season and then it linked to this place now where we are, where they are not taking vaccinations. There is some uncertainty in the reporting, and it’s unfortunate.”

“Haiti is a fellow CARICOM country, but seeing the current situation of the COVID-19 virus and the variants, we simply cannot take risks.”

Haiti island has reportedly denied the World Health Organization’s – WHO COVAX facility’s offer of more than three-quarters of a million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Despite this, the nation of more than 11 million has reported just over 13,200 cases and 266 deaths.

While top contagious disease experts in Haiti earlier stated that “The country’s low cases could be connected to strict adherence to mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines, health experts further added this week the re-opening of travel to and out of the country has led to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and reported numbers were dawdling behind actual cases.”

According to Henfield, 5 Bahamians were sent back to The Bahamas last week following the ongoing travel ban. He added, “We did a flight last week, and then we brought back. I think they were 5 Bahamians that we were aware of, I have to verify, but I think it was five.”

The minister further asserted, “Bahamians in Haiti island who are trying to return to Bahamas island should first register with the Bahamian Embassy in Haiti to make the – ministry of foreign affairs aware, and then additional repatriation flights could be explored.”