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.
- Anyone travelling to the Bahamas (citizen, resident or visitor) must apply for an International Bahamas Health Visa at https://travel.gov.bs/
- Here’s a direct link to the International Application. I’m told these visas can take up to 3 days to process, so be sure to allow enough time. An automated response will be provided upon completion, and only those who receive a green color-coded response can travel.
- As of November 1, incoming passengers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test, taken no more than seven (7) days prior to the date of arrival. You’ll need to upload your test results when applying for your International Bahamas Health Visa.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 five days of their trip.
- 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 tests. (If you’re leaving on or before day five, you do not need this second test.) In Abaco, test sites include the Marsh Harbour International Airport, Cherokee Aviation, Treasure Cay Airport, as well as the Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour, Baker’s Bay Resort & Marina, the Sandy Point Public Dock and the Green Turtle Club. Here’s a list of Bahamian Covid testing sites from the Living With Covid Coalition.
- Anyone travelling within the Bahamas must apply for a Domestic Health Card at https://travel.gov.bs/ (Here’s a direct link to the Domestic Application.)
- 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.
- Residents and visitors travelling inter-island from New Providence to any other island will be required to submit to a mandatory quarantine upon arrival for a period of 14 days or the duration of their stay – whichever is shorter. A person who has entered The Bahamas and is transiting through New Providence to an Out Island, within a period of less than 24 hours, shall not be required to quarantine.
For full and up-to-date details on entry and travel protocols, visit Bahamas.com/travelupdates.
Specific Covid-19 Emergency Orders Related to ABACO
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 curfew is in place between 9pm and 5am on weekdays,and between 6pm and 5am Saturday and Sunday. During this time, you’re not permitted to leave your home, accommodations or boat, except to seek urgent medical care. Note: during these times, 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.
- Outdoor exercise is permitted within your immediate neighbourhood from 5am-9pm Monday through Friday, and from 5am-6pm on weekends.
- Businesses may operate between 6am and 8pm Monday through Friday. Retail businesses and pharmacies may open for in-store service Monday through Friday, 6am-8pm and Saturdays 6am-5pm.
- 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 weekdays from 5am to 9pm and weekends from 5am-6pm. A face mask must be worn upon entering and exiting the beach area and groups are limited to five individuals. The COVID-19 enforcement unit will heavily monitor beaches and parks,
- Abaco food stores may open 6am-8pm Monday through Friday and 6am-5pm on Saturdays.
- Restaurants may operate Monday through Friday 6am-8pm and Saturday 6am-5pm for outdoor dining, drive throughor takeaway service. They may open Sundays from 6am-4pm for drive through or takeaway service only. Indoor dining is permitted at hotels.
- Beauty salons and barber shops may open Monday through Friday 6am-8pm and Saturday 6am-5pm
- 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 on all islands may be held in a religious facility, following protocols and Ministry of Health approved guidelines currently in place for church services. No wedding receptions are permitted.
- Funerals are limited to limited to 10 participants, not including officiant and mortuary workers
- 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.
- 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 market.
**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. Except for essential workers, no travel between these cays and other parts of Abaco is permitted on weekends.**
Please note that these protocols can and do change frequently. Though I do my best to keep up with changes, please do visit Bahamas.com/tourism-reopening or the Office of the Prime Minister’s Covid-19 page for the most up-to-date procedures.