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Travel to Bahamas - COVID-19 Entry Requirements

Travel to Bahamas
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The Bahamas, a popular tourist destination thanks to its calm waters and beautiful beaches want to welcome travelers again.

The Bahamas reopened their borders to tourists on July 1, 2020. And on July 22, 2020, it was announced that the borders would again close to all U.S. commercial vessels due to the spike in the COVID-19 cases.

The emergency restrictions of 23 July have introduced mandatory quarantine and mandatory testing (at the traveler’s own expense) for visitors, nationals, and residents entering The Bahamas by commercial means.

The 14-day quarantine applies to persons entering The Bahamas via commercial air and private flights, charter flights, pleasure craft, or yachts (from any country).

Visitors entering must follow the mandatory entry requirements for entering The Bahamas, including the COVID-19 testing and Travel Health Visa Application procedures. A negative COVID-19 RT PCR (molecular swab) test certificate is required on entry as well as a health visa application for international travel and a health card application for domestic travel.

Travelers are permitted to quarantine at a hotel, private club, rented accommodation, or on a private yacht or sailing vessel.

Hotel guests are permitted to access all available amenities on the property during the shelter-in-place period.

All persons must submit to monitoring and install the Hubbcat App on their cellular phones for purposes of contact tracing.

After the 14 days, all persons intending to remain in the country will be required to complete another COVID-19 test, at their own expense, to exit shelter-in-place. 

Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter The Bahamas?

Yes, U.S. citizens require a valid U.S. passport to enter The Bahamas and return to the United States.

Are British citizens permitted to enter The Bahamas?

British nationals visiting are usually allowed entry into the Bahamas for up to 21 days. This can be extended up to a maximum of 8 months by applying to the Department of Immigration in Nassau. Penalties for overstaying include fines and detention pending deportation.

If you require a visitor visa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has an electronic visa application process. The official website is: https://mofa.gov.bs/obtaining-official-documents/visitors-visa/

If you are traveling via the USA, you may need to apply for an ESTA. The Bahamas counts as part of the ‘contiguous territory and islands’ for US visa waiver purposes and time spent in The Bahamas counts towards the 90-day maximum permitted stay in the US under this waiver. If you travel to The Bahamas via the USA under US visa waiver arrangements and are in any doubt about your US visa status, you should seek advice from either the US Immigration and Naturalization Service or any US diplomatic mission before starting your return journey.

You must hold a valid passport to enter The Bahamas. Your passport should be valid for six months from the date of departure from The Bahamas.

Step by Step Entry and Exit Requirements

Before traveling, each traveler must go to travel.gov.bs, select “International,” and submit a Travel Health Visa Application. The application will require a negative COVID-19 test. Travelers will receive an automated email response once the application is completed.

Applications take up to 72 hours to process, after which each traveler will receive a confirmation that their application has been approved.

Each traveler must present their final confirmation document upon arrival in The Bahamas (whether by air or by sea).

Is A Negative COVID-19 Test Required for Entry?

YES.

Each traveler must present a COVID-19 RT PCR (molecular swab) test with a negative result in order to apply for the Travel Health Visa Application (see above) needed to enter The Bahamas.

The negative test results must be uploaded when completing the Travel Health Visa Application prior to arrival. The test sample must not have been taken more than five (5) days prior to the date of arrival.

For testing locations in the United States, contact your local or state health department.

Children under the age of 10, and private pilots who do not deplane are exempt from presenting a COVID-19 test.

In addition to the health visa requirements, health screening and social distancing measures are in effect at all international and domestic airports. You should expect longer waiting times on arrival.

Full details on entry protocols to The Bahamas can be found on bahamas.com/travelupdates

Departure tax

All visitors leaving The Bahamas are subject to a departure tax of $15.00 (US or Bahamian Dollars), which may or may not be included in the price of your ticket.

Curfew

On August 25, the Office of the Prime Minister announced a curfew between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. 

The curfew will be on the Grand Bahama, Andros, Crooked Island, Acklins, Eleuthera, Cat Island, Exuma, Bimini, the Berry Islands, Mayaguana, Inagua, and Abaco.

Family Islands such as Chub Cay, Long Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay, Ragged Island, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells, and San Salvador will continue with no curfew but must abide by physical distancing and sanitation protocols. Restaurants on these islands are also permitted to operate at 50% occupancy.

Permitted commercial activities include:

  • Daily (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) 
    • Food stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and water depots 
    • Hardware stores 
    • Laundromats.
  • Monday through Friday
    • Commercial banks, Credit Unions and Money Transfer Businesses 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Financial institutions with essential staff 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Law Firms for criminal and urgent civil matters 
    • Retail bakeries 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Other daily operations
    • Wholesalers and manufacturers may operate 
    • Other businesses that can provide curbside, online or delivery services can operate, including retail and gaming houses
    • Restaurants can open with outdoor dining, takeout, delivery and drive-through services, except for fish fry restaurants.

Hotels with guests can operate with current restrictions of: no indoor dining allowed, no gaming, gyms and spas.

The National Food Distribution Task Force, NGOs and churches may continue food distribution. 

Churches may continue to have office hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Daily private prayer may continue.  

Churches may also have indoor services following the Bahamas Christian Council Guidelines.

Weddings are permitted with 10 people, excluding the officiant. Funerals are permitted with 10 people, excluding the officiant and mortuary staff. 

Government offices will be open with essential staff. As directed by Permanent Secretaries, those who can work from home will be advised to do so. 

No gatherings will be allowed in homes except those limited to a maximum of 20 people.

Exercise is permitted from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. in a person’s neighborhood, except for Grand Bahama which will be limited to 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.  Exercising in one’s yard is permissible at any time.

Attending the beaches and parks is permitted 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except for Grand Bahama which will be limited to 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.  

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