Health Alert – The Bahamas

Health Alert Bahamas

[Last Updated on July 23, 2020]

The U.S. Embassy in Nassau wishes to inform U.S. citizens of the latest travel procedures and health protocols for traveling to and within The Bahamas.  The Bahamian government strictly enforces these protocols, so please read the entire message carefully before you make any travel plans.

Key updates from the most recent Emergency Orders signed by the Prime Minister include:

  • All travelers entering The Bahamas via commercial air (regardless of country of origin, including the United States) must undergo a 14-day quarantine in a government facility upon arrival, at their own expense, to be followed by an RT PCR COVID-19 molecular test at the end of the quarantine period.
  • The above 14-day quarantine applies to persons entering The Bahamas via commercial air. It does not apply to private flights, charter flights, pleasure craft, or yachts (from any country). However, visitors entering via private or charter vessels must still follow the other mandatory entry requirements for entering The Bahamas, to include the COVID-19 testing and Travel Health Visa Application procedures outlined below (under Mandatory Entry Requirements, below).
  • If traveling from one Bahamian island to another, any persons leaving a Bahamian island for which there is an impending lockdown order must, at their own expense, submit to a 14-day quarantine in a government facility upon arriving at their destination island within The Bahamas, to be followed by an RT PCR COVID-19 molecular test at the end of the quarantine period.

We encourage you to monitor http://bahamas.com/tourism-reopening, including that page’s FAQs, as well as the website for the Office of the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, and your travel vendors (air carriers and hotels) before your anticipated travel. For questions, please contact the Ministry of Tourism COVID-19 travel hotline at +1-242-502-0829, Monday to Friday, 8:00AM to 6:00PM EST.

VISITORS ENTERING THE BAHAMAS VIA COMMERCIAL AIR MUST QUARANTINE
FOR 14 DAYS UPON ARRIVAL

Effective immediately, all visitors entering via commercial air travel into The Bahamas (regardless of country of origin) will be subject to a 14-day quarantine in a government facility at the expense of the traveler.  The 14-day quarantine will be followed by a mandatory RT PCR COVID-19 molecular test.

The above 14-day quarantine applies to persons entering The Bahamas via commercial air.  It does not apply to private flights, charter flights, pleasure craft, or yachts (from any country).

However, visitors entering via private or charter must still follow the other mandatory entry requirements for entering The Bahamas, to include the COVID-19 testing and Travel Health Visa Application procedures outlined below.

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND:  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 are closed to all incoming and outgoing flights and sea vessels as of midnight Wednesday, July 22, 2020 until further notice.

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

A full 14-day lockdown will began 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 are prohibited as of 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.

During the lockdown, 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, or 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.  In the event of an emergency individuals must request permission to leave their place of residence/lodging by calling 311 or the nearest police station.

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.

MANDATORY ENTRY REQUIREMENTS BEFORE ENTERING THE BAHAMAS
FOR ALL TRAVELERS (International Travel)

The following current entry requirements are strictly enforced and subject to modification.  We encourage you to monitor http://bahamas.com/tourism-reopening, including that page’s FAQs, as well as the website for the Office of the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, 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.  Allow 72 hours for application processing.
  • Each traveler over the age of 10 must have a COVID-19 RT PCR (molecular swab) test with a negative result, taken within 10 days from the date of arrival.  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 FOR INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL IN THE BAHAMAS
(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 (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 http://bahamas.com/tourism-reopening.

In the event of the lockdown of a particular island:  Any persons traveling from one Bahamian island for which notice has been given of an impending lockdown must, at his/her own expense, submit to a 14 day quarantine in a government facility, to be followed RT PCR COVID-19 molecular test at the end of the quarantine period.

Curfew:  All individuals must comply with the nationwide daily curfew, from 10:00 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. Individuals in Grand Bahama are subject to the full 14-day lockdown starting July 23 at 7:00 p.m., until August 7 at 5:00 a.m. (see paragraphs above for more details).

Grand Bahama:  See paragraphs above.

New Providence (Nassau) and surrounding islands:  Effective July 20, public and private beaches and parks on New Providence, Paradise Island, Rose Island, Athol Island, and surrounding cays are 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)

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)   to receive  alerts directly from the Embassy.
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