COVID-19 Measures and Protocols (Updated January 26, 2020)

To protect the health and well-being of all who live in or visit the Bahamas, the Bahamian government has implemented a number of Covid-19-related protocols and measures that apply to Bahamian citizens, residents and visitors.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
  • Incoming passengers to the Bahamas must show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test, taken no more than five (5) days prior to the date of arrival. (The day your test is taken is considered day zero.) Here’s a list of U.S. locations compiled by the Association of Bahamas Marinas, where you can get Covid-19 RT-PCR tests with quick turnaround.
  • Prior to your travel, you must apply online for an International Bahamas Travel Health Visa. As part of the application process, you’ll need to upload your negative COVID-19 test results mentioned above. An automated response will be provided upon completion, and only those who receive a green color-coded response can travel. I’m told the Bahamas Travel Health Visas can take up to 3 days to process, so be sure to allow enough time.
  • Note that children under the age of 10, private pilots who do not deplane, and commercial pilots and crews who remain overnight in the country are not required to provide a Covid-19 test result.
  • As part of the Health Visa application, you’ll be required to opt-in to COVID-19 health insurance that covers you for the duration of your stay in the Bahamas. The cost of insurance is included in the Travel Health Visa application fee.
  • Upon arrival, you must present both your Health Visa and COVID-19 results. Failure to produce either of these documents may result in denied entry.
  • Everyone travelling into or within the Bahamas will be required to complete a short, online health survey every day for the first 14 days of their stay. This includes your day of departure, if your stay is shorter than 14 days.
  • Five days (96 hours) after arrival, visitors who are staying more than four nights/five days will be required to take a second Rapid COVID-19 antigen test. (If you’re leaving on or before day five, you do not need this second test.)
  • Here’s a list of sites in Abaco where you can have your second Covid-19 test done:
    • SPANISH CAY– testing for guests only, call (242) 807-0317
    • GREEN TURTLE CAY: GTC Clinic – Contact Nurse Practitioner Trina Sasine at (229) 798-0233 for appointment.
    • GREEN TURTLE CAY: Green Turtle Club
    • TREASURE CAY: Abaco Health Services -Email pattialbury@abacohealthservices.com or message their Facebook page for appointment.
    • MARSH HARBOUR – Integrated Medical Centre – Call (242) 825-8854
    • MARSH HARBOURAbaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour, testing for guests and those who use marina as a point of entry. Call (242) 367-2158.
    • GUANA CAYBaker’s Bay Resort & Marina, for members only. Call (242) 242-577-0325
    • WINDING BAY (members and guests only) Abaco Health Services Mobile Clinic. Call (24) 577-0744 or schedule through their Facebook page.
    • ELBOW CAY – Hope Town Clinic – Call (242) 577-4257 or (242) 436-5816 for appointment.
DOMESTIC TRAVEL
  • Anyone travelling within the Bahamas must apply for a Domestic Bahamas Travel Health Visa at https://travel.gov.bs/
  • If you’re departing New Providence or Grand Bahama for any other Bahamian island, you will also need a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, except during emergencies. (No test is required to travel to Nassau or Freeport from any family island.) You must also submit to a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test on day 5 of your stay (if applicable).

For full and up-to-date details on entry and travel protocols, visit Bahamas.com/travelupdates. 

ABACO-SPECIFIC COVID-19 EMERGENCY MEASURES

The Bahamian government has implemented emergency measures designed to address the specific situations on various Bahamian islands. The following measures are applicable to Abaco**:

  • A daily curfew is in place between 10pm and 5am. During this time, you’re not permitted to leave your home, accommodations or boat, except to seek urgent medical care. Visitors must return to their accommodations (hotels, rentals, boats, etc.) and remain on property. However, resort and marina guests are free to move about the property and are not required to be confined to their rooms/boats.
  • Businesses may operate between 6am and 9pm Monday through Friday. Retail businesses and pharmacies may open for in-store service Monday through Friday, 6am-8pm and Saturdays 6am-5pm. Abaco food stores may open 6am-8pm Monday through Friday and 6am-5pm on Saturdays.
  • Beauty salons and barber shops may open Monday through Friday 6am-8pm and Saturday 6am-5pm
  • Restaurants may operate daily 6am-9pm for outdoor dining, drive through or takeaway service.
  • Public and private buses and taxis may operate at 50% occupancy. Total passenger capacity to be posted via signage on each vehicle.
  • Beaches and parks are open daily from 5am to 10pm. Face masks must be worn upon entering and exiting the beach area and groups are limited to five individuals.
  • Travel by air or sea is not affected by these protocols. Air and sea travel may continue.
  • Construction related to hurricane recovery is permitted in Abaco on Saturdays and Sundays between the hours of 6am and 6pm.
  • Religious services are permitted Monday through Friday, and from 7am-1pm Saturday and Sunday. Weddings are limited to groups of 20, excluding the officiant. No wedding receptions are permitted. Funerals are limited to 20 participants, not including officiant and mortuary workers, and may take place at the graveside only.
  • The following businesses and activities may not operate at all: casinos, bars, museums, historic society, cultural or entertainment facilities, regattas, festivals, fairs, cookouts, spas and gyms, craft or straw markets.
  • Social gatherings of any size are prohibited in a private residence or facility except for weddings and funerals, as detailed above.
  • Bahamians, residents and visitors must adhere to Covid-19 health measures, including proper hand washing and sanitizer use, physical distancing and the use of masks or face coverings fitted over the nose and mouth. Masks are required in all public places. Fines for all persons, including Bahamians, residents and visitors, not wearing face mask is $250 or a period of one-month imprisonment or both.

**EXCEPTION: Business and social activities on Elbow Cay, Grand Cay, Green Turtle Cay and Man-O-War Cay may continue as normal, so long as physical distancing and mask protocols are observed.**

Please note that these protocols can and do change frequently. Please visit Bahamas.com/tourism-reopening or the Office of the Prime Minister’s Covid-19 page for the most up-to-date procedures.

For full details of emergency orders, visit the Office of the Prime Minister’s website or Facebook Page.

For the most recent Covid-19 Statistics, visit the Bahamas Ministry of Health.

U.S. GUIDELINES ON TESTING & QUARANTINE FOR AIR PASSENGERS ARRIVING IN U.S.

Effective January 26, 2021, all airline passengers to the United States ages 2+ must provide either a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel or provide a positive test result and documentation from a licensed health care provider or public health official of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.

Passengers must also attest, under penalty of law, to having received a negative qualifying test result or to recovery from COVID-19 and medical clearance to travel. See the CDC Proof of Negative Test Result page to view the order, complete the attestation, and to see FAQ’s. Monitor the CDC website for latest guidance regarding testing requirements.

LATEST BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM NEWS RELATED TO COVID-19

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