Director of Immigration refutes comments from Minister Johnson on 30 Officers infected with COVID19

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Clarence Russell confirms Cabinet Minister is circulating FAKE NEWS!

Clarence Russell – Director of Immigration

 NASSAU| During a media interview on Tuesday, August 4th, Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration, the Hon. Elsworth Johnson inadvertently categorized thirty (30) Immigration Officers who are quarantined as having tested COVID-19 positive. As of Thursday, August 6th, six (6) Immigration Officers have tested COVID-19 positive.

A Clinical Psychologist has been retained by the Department as support for all officers and their respective families.

Sessions have been held with affected officers and families, both in group and in individual sessions at the Departmentʼs expense.

The Department of Immigration has implemented COVID-19 prevention measures and supplied personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of Immigration Officers.

In March, the Department developed a business continuity plan following safety and social distancing protocols. The

Department has also acquired standing sanitizing stations and customer friendly protective shields at all high traffic

enrollment stations and cashier cages. Infrared thermometers have been installed for staff temperature checks and sanitizing sterile fogging measures have been conducted, which will continue weekly. The Department maintains an inventory of PPE gowns, disposable masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and disinfectant cleaners for customer and staff protection in the work environment.

As it relates to the approval of work permits, members of the public are advised that those who are making an application for the first time should be in their country of origin when the work permit application is made.

Those who are resident in The Bahamas by way of a work permit where the employment agreement has been terminated should make every effort to return to their country of origin.

Those who wish to be gainfully employed in The Bahamas should make an application to the Immigration Department pursuant to the Immigration Act. It is a criminal offense to employ a non-Bahamian in contravention of the Immigration Act.

Similarly, it is an offense to knowingly or recklessly or without reasonable cause to provide or to conspire to provide housing, board, or shelter of any kind in contravention of the Immigration Act.