Latest Update: November 2, 2020
The islands of The Bahamas have always been a tropical hot spot whether if you’re just coming for a stop from a 7-day Caribbean cruise holiday or you’re staying just on a longer holiday. The pristine white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, that look like they are straight from postcards are just to die for!
And as much as we want to sip a famous tropical Bahama cocktail on our sunglasses and flip flops, The Bahamas is now taking strong measures against this pandemic before things will get much worse.
All islands in The Bahamas reopened international travel for tourists when their Ministry of Tourism and Aviation prepared for phase 2 reopening on July 1, 2020. Since it opened its borders the tropical fine islands of Bahamas have seen an unfortunate increase in positive COVID-19 cases.
As of July 25, 2020, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of residents and visitors, The Bahamas has reinstated on-island guidelines, protocols, and preventative measures to help curb further spread of COVID-19.
October 4 update: Starting November 1st, Bahamas will remove the mandatory quarantine that authorities have imposed on all arriving passengers, including foreign tourists. However, the new protocols will require passengers to obtain a Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than seven days prior to their travel date.
In July 24, 2020, they implemented the weekend lockdown wherein all residents are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family. This is the exception of those who have been deemed essential workers or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police.
The weekend lockdowns will continue until health indicators show otherwise and these lockdowns will be removed on an island-by-island basis.
Updated Safety Measures and Protocols
- As of July 27, 2020, all commercial activity has been given permission to resume but all business activity must be completed on or before 6 in the evening.
- This also goes to all public and private beaches and parks to remain closed, inclusive of hotel and resort beaches.
- Social distancing guidelines must be observed and followed at all times while outside.
- Wearing masks is greatly required in any situation where social distancing is enforced.
- In line with this, a daily curfew will take effect from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am.
- The exception of hotel restaurants, indoor and outdoor dining will be prohibited, however, takeaway, curbside, and delivery will be permitted.
- All congregate activities are prohibited, including religious services, sporting events, and social gatherings.
- This state of emergency is in place until September 30, 2020.
- Starting November 14, all visitors entering The Bahamas will be required to get the COVID Health Insurance coverage when applying for their Bahamas Health Visa. This insurance will cover them for the duration of their stay on the island in the event that they become ill with COVID-19. The cost of the required COVID Health Insurance is included in the Bahamas Health Visa, which must be paid prior to travel
Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine
As of July 28, 2020, upon arrival to Bahamas and subject to any exemption that the Competent Authority of The Bahamas, may give to diplomatic personnel, any person or any class of person, Bahamian nationals and residents and visitors entering The Bahamas from any jurisdiction will be placed in a mandatory 14 day quarantine at a designated Government quarantine facility at his/her own expense.
All inter-island travel will be discontinued and all travelers returning to the Family islands from Nassau are required to quarantine for 14 days as well. This also means all travelers must have negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PT-PCR test result from a sample dated 10 days ago or less before their arrival. And the requirement for this test does not apply to children who are 10 years and younger.
All travelers must complete a Bahamas Health Visa application before departure. In order to complete the Health Visa, travelers will be asked to upload negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PT-PCR test result or select a relevant exemption category, as well as provide his/her contact information.
Who Is Allowed To Enter Bahamas?
Starting July 22, 2020, all international commercial flights and commercial vessels carrying passengers will not be permitted to enter The Bahamas, except for commercial flights coming from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
Commercial flights originating from the United States will no longer be able to enter the Bahamas. The Bahamas travel ban for American tourists lasts until further notice.
While it is absolutely necessary to follow these protocols, for now, all of its 700 islands are just waiting for you to have fun under the Caribbean sun. Soon, we will all be swimming with the pigs in Big Major Cay, scuba diving and snorkeling to its underwater life at its finest, learning about the history of the pirates, and partying during Junkanoo Festival.