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.
- Incoming passengers to the Bahamas must show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) 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 colour-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 firstname.lastname@example.org or message their Facebook page for appointment.
- MARSH HARBOUR – Integrated Medical Centre – Call (242) 825-8854
- MARSH HARBOUR – Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour, testing for guests and those who use marina as a point of entry. Call (242) 367-2158.
- GUANA CAY – Baker’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.
- 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, Grand Bahama, or the Abaco mainland for any other Bahamian island, you will also need a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, except during emergencies. You must also submit to a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test on day 5 of your stay (if applicable).
- No testing or travel visa is required to travel between mainland Abaco and the Abaco Cays. That being said, non-essential travel between the mainland and the cays is discouraged.
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**:
- Effective Sunday, February 28, 2021, a daily curfew is in place between 8pm and 5am for mainland Abaco. During this time, you’re not permitted to leave your home, accommodations or boat, except to seek urgent medical care for people or pets. 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 8pm 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-8pm 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 8pm. 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.**
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, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all airline passengers ages 2 years and older travelling from the Bahamas to the United States to present a verifiable negative COVID-19 viral test (PCR or Antigen) taken no more than three (3) days prior to the date of the flight.
LATEST BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM NEWS RELATED TO COVID-19
- 26 February 2021 – New curfew and travel requirements implemented for mainland Abaco following increase in COVID-19 cases
- 21 February 2021 – Prime Minister Minnis announces COVID-19 vaccine priority groups and rollout strategy for New Providence, Grand Bahama and Family Islands
- 25 January 2021 – Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Statement on Updated U.S. Guidelines on Testing and Quarantine for All Air Passengers Arriving in The United States
- 12 January 2021 – The Islands of The Bahamas Announces Updated Travel & Entry Protocols
- 10 December 2020 – The Islands of The Bahamas Announces Updated Travel & Entry Protocols