New COVID-19 Restrictions for U.S. Travelers are in effect for Commercial Flights – but not for Private Jets
Just three weeks after re-opening it’s borders to travelers, the islands of the Bahamas have barred United States tourists due to the surging COVID-19 pandemic. The new restrictions were announced by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis in a national address, citing a surge in cases and deteriorating conditions.
Effective July 22nd, 2020, international flights and commercial vessels will not be permitted to enter, with exceptions for flights from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union. Visitors are still required to provide a negative COVID-19 rapid test result from an accredited lab.
The new restrictions come due to the island’s struggle with the spread of the virus after re-opening borders to international travelers on July 1st, and private aviation & boating on June 15th. Florida, the new epicenter for the outbreak, sits just 50 miles west of the islands, is reporting more than 10,000 new cases per day. Tourism accounts for more than half of the nation’s GDP, with a majority coming from the United States, mainly Florida.
Private Jets & Charter Flights Still Permitted to the Bahamas from the U.S.
Private boats, yachts, and international private flights–including charter flights from the U.S. carrying American passengers–are still permitted.
If you’re interested in arranging a private flight to the Bahamas while these restrictions are in place, here are the requirements needed to book your trip
- Negative COVID-19 test from an accredited lab (the Bahamas are not currently accepting Rapid Antigen or Antibody tests)
- Tests must be completed within 10 days of your arrival.
- Apply for a Travel Health Visa (see link below).
- You can upload your test while applying for your visa
Follow this link to the application for a Travel Health Visa. You can also view a list of accredited labs on this page.
Exemptions are granted for American vacationers including children under 10 years old and flight crew members, provided they are in the country for less than 24 hours.
Please be advised that the Bahamas have a mask-wearing policy in effect across all of the islands. The penalty for not wearing a mask may include a fine of $250 and/or up to a month in jail. Please review all of the COVID-related travel updates on the Bahamas website.