The Bahamas Revises Travel and Entry Protocols

Nassau Bahamas
Photo by Sharan Singh/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Bahamas has revised its entry protocols, including replacing the mandatory “vacation-in-place.” Effective as of November 1, the Bahamas will require all travelers to:

  1. Obtain a COVID-19 RT PCR test five days prior to arrival
  2. Apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs 
  3. For the duration of the visit, complete a daily online health questionnaire for symptom tracking purposes
  4. Take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test on Day 5 of the visit (unless departing on Day 5)
  5. Always wear a mask and always social distance in public places

In addition, beginning November 14, all visitors will be required to opt-in to mandatory COVID-19 health insurance when applying for their Health Travel Visa. The insurance will cover travelers for the duration of their stay in the Bahamas. 

Specifics of the new protocols are as follows: 

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Prior to Travel

1.      COVID-19 RT-PCR Test

    • All persons traveling to the Bahamas must obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test taken no more than five days prior to the date of arrival.  
      • The name and address of the lab, where the test was performed, must be clearly displayed on the test result.
    • Exemptions: 
      • Children age 10 and under
      • Pilots and crew of commercial airlines who remain overnight in the Bahamas

2.      Bahamas Health Travel Visa

    • Once in possession of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs (click on the International tab and upload test results and other required documents) 
    • Fees for the Bahamas Health Travel Visa, inclusive of Day 5 Rapid Antigen Test and mandatory health insurance, are as follows: 
      • $40 – Visitors staying up to four nights and five days
      • $40 – Citizens and returning residents
      • $60 – Visitors staying more than four nights
      • Free - Children 10 years and under 

Upon Arrival

1.      Comply with Monitoring Protocols:

    • Any visitor who exhibits COVID symptoms at any time during their stay will be required to take a Rapid Antigen Test and receive a negative result before being permitted to continue with their vacation
    • If a person tests positive, they will be required to follow up with a COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test

2.      Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Testing (if applicable):

    • All persons who are staying in the Bahamas longer than four nights/five days will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test
    • All visitors departing on or before five days will not be required to obtain this test
    • The rapid tests yield results in 60 minutes or less with results being provided electronically via SMS text message and email
    • Hotel properties will provide relevant information on testing arrangements, while others will facilitate the required rapid test for their guests
    • All persons on yachts and other pleasure craft will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website 
    • All other visitors, returning residents and citizens will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website

Notwithstanding any health restrictions that may be implemented from time to time, all travelers abiding by these new protocols will be permitted to move about and explore the beauty and vibrant culture of the Bahamas beyond the confines of their hotel or other accommodations.

Travelers should check the status of their island destination before traveling by visiting www.bahamas.com/travelupdates, where they can also review entry requirements applicable to each member of their party before booking a trip.

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