Mandatory Vacation-in-Place Requirement is Replaced by COVID-19 Health Insurance, Monitoring Procedures, and On-Island Rapid Testing for Those Staying Longer Than Five Days
NASSAU, Bahamas, October 31, 2020 – The Islands of The Bahamas today announced streamlined entry protocols that will enable visitors to better and more seamlessly enjoy The Bahamas vacation experience.
Those who booked travel under the former protocols that required an RT PCR test taken seven (7) days prior to travel will be permitted to enter The Bahamas with their Bahamas Health Travel Visa and negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, through November 6, 2020 only.
Effective 1 November 2020, The Bahamas will require all travelers to:
- Obtain a COVID-19 RT PCR test five (5) days prior to arrival.
- Apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs
- 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 14 November 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 travellers for the duration of their stay in The Bahamas.
Specifics of the new protocols are as follows:
Prior to Travel:
- COVID-19 RT-PCR Test
o 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.
- Children age ten (10) and under.
- Pilots and crew of commercial airlines who remain overnight in The Bahamas.
Bahamas Health Travel Visa
o Once in possession of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at TRAVEL.GOV.BS
o Click on the International Tab and upload test results and other required documents.
o Fees for the Bahamas Health Travel Visa, inclusive of Day 5 Rapid Antigen Test and mandatory health insurance, are as follows:
- $40 – Visitors staying up to four nights and five days.
- $40 – Citizens and returning residents.
- $60 – Visitors staying more than four nights.
- Free – Children 10 years and under
- Comply with Monitoring Protocols:
o 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.
o If a person tests positive they will be required to follow up with a COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test.
- Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Testing (if applicable):
o 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.
o All visitors departing on or before five days will not be required to obtain this test.
o 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.
o Hotel properties will provide relevant information on testing arrangements, while others will facilitate the required rapid test for their guests.
o All persons on yachts and other pleasure craft will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website.
o All other visitors, returning residents and citizens will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website.
Not withstanding any health restrictions that may be implemented from time to time, all travelers 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. Travelers 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.