COVID-19 Measures and Protocols (Updated May 17, 2021)

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 TO THE BAHAMAS
  • Anyone arriving in the Bahamas by air or sea must apply for a International Bahamas Travel Health Visa prior to travel. An automated response will be provided upon completion of your application, 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.
  • Cost of the travel health visa is dependent on length of stay.
  • As part of the travel health visa application process, unvaccinated travellers must upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of arrival. (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 your result must be from a RT-PCR test. Results from other types of Covid tests are not acceptable.
  • Those who are fully vaccinated and have passed the two-week immunity period are not required to upload a negative COVID-19 test result as part of the application process. Note that Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and AstraZeneca are the only vaccines being recognized at this time.
  • Update May 1: The Bahamian government is still revising the travel health visa application site to include a “fully vaccinated” option. Until then, here’s how to apply for a travel health visa if you’re fully vaccinated: 1) Where it asks whether you’re tested, indicate that you have received a PCR test. 2) Where it asks for your test date, just choose the date you’re completing the application. 3) When asked to upload your PCR test results, upload your vaccination record instead. Note that the name on your vaccine card must match the name on your passport. 4) Enter “fully vaccinated” in any fields that ask for test information.
  • All travellers eighteen (18) years of age and older are required to obtain a separate Bahamas Travel Health Visa. Children seventeen (17) years and younger may be added to the account of a parent or guardian. As a parent or guardian, once you’ve set up your account, go to the Profile section and click on “Children” to add their profiles.
  • Vaccinated or not, 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.
  • Vaccinated or not, 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 Travel Health Visa AND COVID-19 results/proof of vaccination. Failure to produce these documents may result in denied entry.
  • Unvaccinated travellers staying in The Bahamas longer than four (4) nights and five (5) days will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test on day five.
  • 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.
  • Unvaccinated people travelling to and throughout The Bahamas will be required to complete a short, daily online Health Questionnaire during their stay. The questionnaire must be completed upon arrival and each day thereafter for up to 14 days, or the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter. (If travelling less than 14 days, a questionnaire must be completed on the day of departure.)
  • People who are fully vaccinated are not required to submit to a Rapid Antigen Covid Test on the fifth day of their stay, nor will they be required to complete a daily Bahamas Health Questionnaire.
  • For vaccinated individuals, the Bahamas Travel Health Visa will be valid for 6 months from the date of the last dose of the vaccine, so multiple trips can be had in this period without having to upload the Vaccination Record Card again.
  • The fine for submitting falsified vaccination records is $10,000 or two years’ imprisonment or both.
DOMESTIC TRAVEL WITHIN THE BAHAMAS
  • Anyone (vaccinated or not) travelling inter-island from New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Exuma or Eleuthera must apply for a Domestic Bahamas Travel Health Visa. The cost of the travel health visa is dependent on length of travel.
  • All travellers eighteen (18) years of age and older are required to obtain a separate Bahamas Travel Health Visa. Children seventeen (17) years and younger may be added to the account of a parent or guardian. As a parent or guardian, once you’ve set up your account, go to the Profile section and click on “Children” to add their profiles.
  • Fully vaccinated Bahamian citizens, residents and visitors are exempt from the need to provide a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result while applying for a domestic travel visa. They are also exempt from the requirement to submit to a day 5 rapid antigen test and to complete a daily health questionnaire.
  • RT-PCR COVID-19 test is no longer required for people travelling domestically from Abaco, Eleuthera and Exuma, whether or not they are vaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated individuals travelling domestically from New Providence or Grand Bahama must produce a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result when applying for their travel health visa.
  • Unvaccinated individuals travelling domestically from New Providence or Grand Bahama who are staying in their destination for longer than four (4) nights and five (5) days will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test on day 5.
  • Unvaccinated individuals travelling inter-island from New Providence or Grand Bahama will be required to complete a short, daily online Health Questionnaire during their stay. The questionnaire must be completed upon arrival and each day thereafter for up to 14 days, or the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter. (If travelling less than 14 days, a questionnaire must be completed on the day of departure.)
  • For vaccinated individuals, your Travel Health Visa will be valid for 6 months from the date of the last dose of the vaccine, so multiple trips can be had in this period without having to upload the Vaccination Record Card again.
  • The fine for submitting falsified vaccination records is $10,000 or two years’ imprisonment or both.

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

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 May 17, daily curfews have been lifted.
  • Restaurants may offer indoor dining for all who are fully vaccinated, and outdoor dining, drive through or takeaway service for others. Diners must provide proof of vaccination, and diners and staff must continue to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
  • Public and private buses and taxis may operate at 50% occupancy. Total passenger capacity to be posted via signage on each vehicle.
  • 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 may be held at religious facilities, with attendance up to 1/3 of the facility’s capacity. No wedding receptions are permitted. Funerals are limited to 40 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, 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.

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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