Health Alert – The Bahamas

Health Alert Bahamas

[Last Updated on July 21, 2020]

Event:  The Bahamas announces (1) the ban of international commercial flights from the United States with passengers effective midnight July 22, 2020 and (2) the closure of Grand Bahamas’ international and domestic borders effective July 22, 2020

On July 19, the Prime Minister of The Bahamas announced a series of measures to mitigate the recent upward trend in COVID-19 cases.  Key updates include:

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 country 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 or vessels will be permitted entry as long as they have followed the mandatory entry requirements, to include 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.

GRAND BAHAMA:  CLOSURE OF INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC BORDERS TO ALL INCOMING AND OUTGOING FLIGHTS AND VESSELS
EFFECTIVE 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.

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.  

Curfew:  All individuals must comply with the nationwide daily curfew, from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (in Grand Bahama, 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.), 7 days per week, during which all individuals must remain confined to their place of lodging or residence/yard.

Grand Bahama:  A number of measures are being taken to mitigate COVID-19 in Grand Bahama.  International and domestic borders will be closed to all incoming and outgoing flights and sea vessels to and from Grand Bahama, except for emergencies and to transport essential goods and services, effective midnight Wednesday, July 22, 2020.  Ferry boat operations between East End, Grand Bahama and Crown Haven, Abaco will not be allowed, effective Monday, July 20 at 5:00 a.m.  Effective July 20, a new curfew will be implemented from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. daily.  All public and private beaches and parks will be closed until further notice, effective Monday 20 July 2020 at 5:00 a.m.  Further restrictive measures may be implemented, including a lockdown beginning Friday, July 24.

New Providence (Nassau) and surrounding islands:  Effective Monday, July 20 at 5:00 a.m., public and private beaches and parks on New Providence, Paradise Island, Rose Island, Athol Island and surrounding cays will be closed until further notice.

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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