The Bahamas continues to be one of the most requested destinations for many. Who wouldn’t want to dazzle in its powder-white sand beaches, its crystal clear waters, and its all-time blue summer skies? Not to mention the world-renowned Atlantis Resort, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, and the largest shopping, entertainment, and dining facility in the Bahamas, the Port Lucaya. Hence, despite the modified protocols in visiting other countries, the Bahamas remains on top of the bucket list of beachgoers.
If you’re one of those who are planning to visit the Bahamas on your next trip, be sure to list down the things we’re going to tell you to enjoy a hassle-free entry to the country.
What do you need pre-departure?
The Bahamian government is requiring all tourist visitors to obtain a negative COVID RT-PCR test result not more than 5 days before arrival. This is except for children under 10 years old and the crew of the commercial airline who will only remain in the country overnight. Once a negative result is secured, you will have to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa via travel.gov.bs which takes about 24 hours to complete. Travelers are also required to get the COVID-19 health insurance which will cover them for the length of their stay. The cost of the insurance is already included in the Travel Health Visa application fee and the cost of the health visa will depend on the length of stay. Take note that you must submit the negative result that is only 5 days old max or your visa will be denied.
Upon arriving on the island, visitors are required to wear face masks and follow the health monitoring procedures.
While on the island
While enjoying your vacation on the island, you will still need to wear your face mask and observe physical distancing in public places (e.g. public transports, any establishments, restaurants, etc.). Some islands may also have different protocols so it’s best to check via bahamas.com/travelupdates before your visit.
Any visitor who will exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will also need to present a negative rapid antigen test before being permitted to continue with their vacation. If the person tests positive for the rapid antigen test, he will need to undergo the COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test. Check this link for the list of testing centers you can go to in any case. https://travel.gov.bs/www/static/Testing_Page.pdf
If you’re opting in for a longer stay (more than 4 nights or 5 days), you will also be required to take the rapid COVID-19 test. This test is easy and gives results in 60 minutes or less which are sometimes provided electronically via email or SMS text message.
What will happen if I don’t follow the protocols?
Protocols are set to protect the locals as well as the guests, hence, not following them would merit some sanctions. Not providing a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test not more than 5 days from your arrival will mean denied entry. Those who will present covid symptoms will also be quarantined and tested for further evaluation by health personnel. Lastly, for visitors not wearing masks where they are required, a fine of $200 or a penalty of 1-month imprisonment or both might be imposed.
We hope this article helped you prepare for your next getaway. Keep in mind that safety should still be your utmost priority while having fun.