After successful free testing pilot programmes in Eleuthera, Inagua, Bimini and the Berry Islands, the Government of The Bahamas is beginning free COVID-19 testing in New Providence today, with plans to expand nationwide in the coming days and weeks.
The free testing is part of a larger government effort to reduce the impact of the new, ultra-transmissible COVID-19 variants, which are disrupting health care systems and economies across the globe.
In addition to offering free testing, the Government is expanding vaccine and booster efforts, handing out medical-grade masks, setting stricter limits on the size of social gatherings, and expanding health care capacity.
During the first weekend of free testing in New Providence:
• 400 free rapid antigen COVID-19 tests will be facilitated daily (up to 300 tests at the Kendal G. L. Isaacs Gymnasium and up to 100 tests at the Melia Hotel for registered users).
• The South Beach Clinic is equipped to offer free RT-PCR tests for symptomatic individuals, no registration necessary.
• To ensure access to as many individuals as possible, no more than one test per individual may be taken per week, following registration at https://covidtest.gov.bs
On Tuesday, capacity will increase to 1,000 tests daily.
Reducing cost barriers for Bahamians is a priority for Prime Minister Philip Davis, who is urging Bahamians to take advantage of the opportunity.
“We’re very pleased to make good on our promise to provide free testing to our citizens,” said Prime Minister Davis during his tour of the Kendal G.L. Isaacs testing facility on Saturday.
“I’d like to personally thank Minister Darville and his Ministry of Health team who have worked tirelessly to make free testing possible. I’d also like to thank the labs that have partnered with my government on this initiative to date. By working together against COVID-19, we are better able to protect our citizens while keeping our economy open.”