The Islands Of The Bahamas Announces Updated Travel and Entry Protocols

New Requirements Include COVID-19 Health Insurance for International Travellers, Monitoring Procedures and On-Island Testing for Stays Longer Than Five Days

UPDATED NOVEMBER 12, 2020

For Immediate Release

NASSAU, Bahamas, November 11, 2020 – The Islands of The Bahamas has announced streamlined entry protocols that will enable visitors to better and more seamlessly enjoy The Bahamas vacation experience.

Effective November 1, 2020, The Bahamas will require all travellers to:

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

In addition, beginning November 14, 2020, all visitors will be required to opt in to mandatory COVID-19 health insurance when applying for their Travel Health Visa. The insurance will cover travellers for the duration of their stay in The Bahamas.

Specifics of the new protocols are as follows:

Prior to Travel:

1.     COVID-19 RT-PCR Test

  • All persons travelling to The Bahamas must obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test taken no more than five (5) 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.
    • A Bahamas citizen or resident planning to travel abroad for five (5) days or less must secure a test in the destination they visited before travelling back to The Bahamas. Any RT-PCR test taken in The Bahamas prior to travel will not be valid for re-entry. 
  • Exemptions:
    • Children age ten (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 Travel Health Visa at travel.gov.bs.
  • Click on the International tab and upload test results and other required documents.
  • There is a non-refundable fee for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa, inclusive of an application fee, administrative and distribution costs. The final price is dependent on length of stay, as well as applicable testing, insurance and healthcare related costs:
    • $40 – Visitors staying up to four (4) nights and five (5) days
      • Includes cost of Travel Health Insurance; a day five rapid antigen test is not required
    • $40 – Citizens and returning residents.
      • Includes cost of day five rapid antigen test; Travel Health Insurance is not required 
    • $60 – Visitors staying longer than four (4) nights and five (5) days
      • Includes costs of Travel Health Insurance and rapid antigen test on Day 5
    • Free - Children 10 years and under
      • Insurance coverage included

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 day five will not be required to obtain this test.
     
  • The rapid tests are easy, quick and will yield results in 60 minutes or less, with results being provided electronically via SMS text message and email.
     
  • Travellers will receive a reminder 24 hours prior to the required test with information on where and how to obtain a test. All persons taking a rapid antigen test are required to bring and present their Health Visa with QR code. Tests cannot be properly recorded without the QR code that corresponds to each person’s individual Health Visa.
     
  • An approved list of testing sites is available at Bahamas.com/travelupdates.
     
  • Tests in New Providence will be conducted at Doctors Hospital or at an approved medical clinic.
     
  • Tests in Grand Bahama Island and the Family Islands will be conducted at an approved medical clinic.

3. Inter-Island Quarantine Requirement

  • Residents and visitors travelling inter-island from New Providence to any other destination will be required to submit to mandatory quarantine upon arrival for a period of 14 days or the duration of their stay – whichever is shorter.
    • A person who has entered The Bahamas and is transiting through New Providence to an Out Island, within a period of less than 24-hours, shall not be required to quarantine.

Notwithstanding any health restrictions that may be implemented from time to time, all travellers 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.

The Bahamas is an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays, spread over 100,000 square miles, which means conditions and instances of the virus can be different on each of the 16 islands available to welcome visitors. Travellers should check the status of their island destination before travelling by visiting Bahamas.com/travelupdates, where they can also review entry requirements applicable to each member of their party before booking a trip.

The Bahamas has remained diligent in its efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 throughout the islands, and these measures are imperative to ensure that remains the case. The health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors remain the number one priority of public health officials.  It is important to note, however, that due to fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, both in The Bahamas and worldwide, protocols are subject to change.
 

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PRESS INQUIRIES

Anita Johnson-Patty
General Manager, Global Communications
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation
ajohnson@bahamas.com

Weber Shandwick
Public Relations
Bahamas@webershandwick.com