Health Alert – Grand Bahama

Health Alert Bahamas

[Last Updated on July 21, 2020]

Event:  Grand Bahama – Domestic Border closures effective July 21 6:00 PM; International Border closures effective July 22 midnight; 14 day Lockdown effective July 23 at 6:00 PM

On July 21, the Prime Minister of The Bahamas announced specific additional measures for Grand Bahama Island only, to mitigate the recent upward trend in COVID-19 cases.  Key updates include:

14 DAY LOCKDOWN FOR GRAND BAHAMA STARTING
JULY 23 AT 7:00PM UNTIL AUGUST 7 AT 5:00AM

  • A full 14-day lockdown will begin on Grand Bahama on Thursday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m., and will last until Friday, August 7 at 5:00 a.m.
  • Domestic flights and sea vessels with passengers in and out of Grand Bahama will be prohibited effective Tuesday, July 21 at 6:00 p.m. International flights and sea vessels with passengers in and out of Grand Bahama are prohibited effective Wednesday July 22 at midnight.
  • Food stores will be allowed to open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the general public during the lockdown. Pharmacies, water depots, and gas stations may operate Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the general public.
  • During the week, people on Grand Bahama should not leave their homes unless they intend to purchase food, water, medicine or for some other essential purpose, or if they are an essential worker.
  • A complete lockdown will be in place Saturdays and Sundays during the lockdown. Residents should not leave their homes for any purpose unless they are an essential worker, or in the case of an emergency.
  • The Prime Minister said there is adequate supply of food on the island at all food stores for the lockdown period.  The National Food Distribution Task Force and Department of Social Services are making arrangements to ensure that food needs will be met during the lockdown.

GRAND BAHAMA:  CLOSURE OF DOMESTIC BORDERS TO ALL INCOMING AND OUTGOING FLIGHTS AND SEA VESSELS EFFECTIVE JULY 21 AT 6:00PM

  • The island of Grand Bahama’s domestic borders will be closed to all incoming and outgoing flights and sea vessels effective today July 21 at 6:00 p.m.  U.S. citizens who are planning to depart Grand Bahama are urged to do so immediately, or to plan to remain in Grand Bahama for an extended period.  

GRAND BAHAMA:  CLOSURE OF INTERNATIONAL BORDERS TO ALL INCOMING AND OUTGOING FLIGHTS AND VESSELS EFFECTIVE MIDNIGHT JULY 22, 2020

  • The island of Grand Bahama’s international and domestic borders will be closed to all incoming and outgoing flights and sea vessels effective midnight Wednesday, July 22, 2020 until further notice.  U.S. citizens who are planning to depart Grand Bahama are urged to do so immediately, or to plan to remain in Grand Bahama for an extended period.  The U.S. Embassy does not anticipate providing repatriation flights.

NATIONWIDE:  INBOUND COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UNITED STATES WITH PASSENGERS WILL CEASE EFFECTIVE JULY 22, 2020

  • International commercial flights and commercial vessels bound from the United States carrying passengers will not be permitted to enter Bahamian borders effective midnight Wednesday, July 22, 2020 until further notice.  ONLY commercial flights from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union will be permitted to enter The Bahamas (all islands except Grand Bahama) until further notice.Media reports stating The Bahamas’ borders will entirely close to U.S. citizens July 22 are inaccurate.  To be clear, U.S. citizens traveling on private aircraft and vessels, or on charter flights will be permitted entry as long as they have followed the mandatory entry requirement—including the COVID-19 testing and Travel Health Visa Application procedures outlined below.  Private international flights, charter flights, pleasure craft and yachts (from any country) that are carrying Bahamian citizens, Bahamian residents or visitors as passengers are permitted to enter.

LIMITED OUTBOUND COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS TO THE UNITED STATES

  • The U.S. Embassy wishes to advise that, given that inbound commercial flights from the United States with passengers will cease on July 22, the availability of outbound commercial flights is expected to diminish rapidly.  U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period or to pay for private or charter transportation.  The U.S. Embassy does not anticipate providing repatriation flights.

MANDATORY ENTRY REQUIREMENTS BEFORE ENTERING THE BAHAMAS (International Travel)

The following current entry requirements are strictly enforced and subject to modification.  We encourage you to monitor https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening, including that page’s FAQs, the U.S. Embassy Facebook page and website, and your travel vendors (air carriers and hotels) before your anticipated travel.  Please direct questions directly to the Ministry of Tourism COVID-19 travel hotline at +1-242-502-0829, Monday to Friday, 8:00AM to 6:00PM EST.

  • Each traveler must go to travel.gov.bs, select “International” and complete and submit a Travel Health Visa Application prior to travel.  An automated email response will be provided once the application is completed.  This confirmation must be presented upon arrival in The Bahamas.  The Travel Health Visa Application will take 24 to 48 hours to process.
  • Each traveler (with limited exceptions, below*) must have a COVID-19 RT PCR (molecular swab) test with a negative result.  No other type of COVID-19 test is acceptable.  The negative test results must be uploaded when completing the Travel Health Visa Application prior to arrival.
  • Reminder:  U.S. citizens require a valid U.S. passport for both entry to The Bahamas and return to the United States.

MANDATORY REQUIREMENT BEFORE TRAVELING FROM ONE BAHAMIAN ISLAND TO ANOTHER
(Domestic Travel)

  • Prior to traveling from one island to another within The Bahamas, each traveler must go to travel.gov.bs, select “Domestic” and complete and submit the online Travel Health Card.A confirmation will be provided via email.  Each traveler must present their confirmation upon arrival at their destination.

WHILE IN THE BAHAMAS

All incoming passengers will be subject to temperature screenings.  Travelers who show symptoms of COVID-19 may be transferred to an on-site quarantine area away from other passengers for further evaluation.

Visitors must practice physical distancing measures (3 to 6 feet), wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks when appropriate, and practice regular handwashing.  Travelers will be required to wear a face mask in any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines, such as when entering and transiting air and sea terminals, while navigating security and customs screenings, at baggage claim and in public spaces.  More detailed information and guidance on travel requirements and safety precautions being implemented by The Bahamas are available at https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening.  

Fines and Sentences Imposed on Health Protocol Violators:  Failure to wear a face mask is subject to a fine of $200 or imprisonment.  Any person who falsifies the result of a COVID-19 test may be subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000, or two years imprisonment, or both.  Additionally, any person who knows or reasonably believes that he is infected with COVID-19 and causes another to be exposed or infected, may be fined up to $1,000 for each person exposed or infected.  Persons who leave mandatory or self-quarantine before being released by the Ministry of Health are subject to a fine of $250.

At all times, each individual must carry a government-issued form of identification.

No groups larger than 5 people are permitted to congregate at beaches and parks.

ACTIONS TO TAKE

FOR ASSISTANCE

For U.S. Citizens in an Emergency:

  • Call State Department – Consular Affairs at
  • 1 888-407-4747 (when dialing from within the U.S.)
  • +1 (202) 501-4444 (when dialing from overseas)

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