The Islands of the Bahamas are re-opening for holiday travel with new restrictions in place
Looking for a holiday getaway to put the rest of the year behind you? The Bahamas have streamlined their new entry protocols for visitors traveling to the islands this holiday season. The new policies are in place to provide a more seamless vacation experience while putting a priority on the health & safety of the islands’ visitors & residents.
Beginning November 1st, 2020, the following requirements will go into effect for all travelers, citizens and returning residents to The Bahamas:
- Obtain a COVID-19 RT-PCR test five (5) days prior to arrival
- Apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs
- Complete a daily online health questionnaire for symptom tracking purposes for the duration of visit
- Take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test on Day 5 of the visit (unless departing on day 5)
- 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 Health Travel Visa. The insurance will cover travelers for the duration of their stay in The Bahamas. You can review all of the entry requirements and check for the latest updates by visiting bahamas.com/travelupdates.
What does this mean for visitors who follow the new guidelines?
As long as guidelines are followed are there are no health restrictions, travelers will be allowed to freely explore the islands beyond the confines of their hotels or other accommodations.
This is especially important for those seeking to visit the Bahamas on the islands’ BEATS initiative (Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay), which allows visitors to temporarily relocate to the Bahamas for up to one year while working and/or studying remotely.
Hotels, resorts and local businesses throughout The Bahamas have implemented additional cleaning and safety measures, including those on the Out Islands, ideal for travelers seeking a more socially-distanced, secluded vacation.
Please note that these guidelines are for all travelers including commercial airlines, boats, and other vessels, and are not limited to private charter flights.
Prior to Travel
All travelers are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of arrival. This does not apply to children under the age of 10 and to pilots and airline crew who remain overnight in The Bahamas. Once you receive a valid negative COVID-19 test result, you can apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at http://www.travel.gov.bs/.
Click on the International Tab and upload your test results and any other required documents.
Fees for the Bahamas Health Travel Visa (including Day 5 Rapid Antigen Test and mandatory health insurance) are as follows:
- Visitors staying up to four nights and five days: $40
- Citizens and returning residents: $40
- Visitors staying more than four nights: $60
- Children 10 years and under: Free
International Private Charter Flights Arriving Empty To Collect Passengers: As long as pilots do not deplane, they are not required to take the test.
Travelers staying longer than 5 days are required to take a rapid Covid-19 antigen test; any visitors departing before the 5th day are not required to take this test.
Visitors are required to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines at all times, including entering and transitioning throughout terminals. All persons are also subject to temperature checks upon entry.
If a visitor show COVID-19 symptoms during their stay, they are required to take a rapid antigen test and receive a negative result to continue their visit. Should they test positive, a follow up Covid-19 RTPCR test is required.
The rapid test are easy, quick and will yield results in 60 minutes or less with results being provided electronically via SMS text message and email.
If you’re traveling within the Bahamas from Nassau (New Providence), you will be required to complete an electronic Health Visa prior to departure https://travel.gov.bs/domestic.
Charters are permitted, including inter-island charters, provided that individuals comply with current inter-island travel orders. Inter-island commercial air travel has resumed, and a negative COVID-19 test result is no longer required unless travelling from New Providence.
For those travelling from Nassau (New Providence) to any family island, you will have to obtain a COVID-19 RTPCR negative test result and on arrival to the island you will be required to quarantine for 14 days. This means even if you are permitted entry into another island and wish to visit New Providence, you will be required to take an additional test and quarantine for a full 14 days upon arriving at other islands.
Similar restrictions are currently in place at the Abacos and Freeport-Grand Bahama Island; you can check the latest updates for travel status across each island at bahamas.com/tourism-reopening.