The government of the Bahamas changed its mind and reversed their prior US travel ban. Just last week, the Bahamas announced it was closing its borders to all US tourists.
Bahamas US travel ban lifted but all travelers face lockdowns
On Saturday, July 25, the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation issued a new statement that covered all incoming visitors. However, along with lifting the US travel ban, came a universal laundry list of requirements and restrictions that applies to all tourists.
A 14-day quarantine period at a government facility is among the requirements for all incoming visitors. No sneaking out at midnight for a moonlight swim or bar-hopping, either.
New Requirements for Residents and Tourists to the Bahamas
Weekend lockdowns for residents
Every weekend from 10 PM on Fridays through 5 AM on Monday mornings. Residents are required to remain at home, except for those considered to be essential workers
The weekend lockdowns will be in effect until it’s deemed safe. Removal of lockdowns will be on an island-by-island basis.
- Weekend lockdowns will continue until health indicators show otherwise. Lockdowns will be removed on an island-by-island basis.
- Commercial activity will resume, however, all business activity must be completed by 6pm
- All public and private beaches and parks will remain closed, inclusive of hotel and resort beaches
- Social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times while outside the home and masks are required in any situation where social distancing is enforced
- A daily curfew will go into effect from 7:00pm through 5:00am
- With the exception of hotel restaurants, indoor and outdoor dining will be prohibited, however, takeaway, curbside and delivery are permitted
- All congregate activities are prohibited, including religious services, sporting events and social gatherings
International Commercial flights are open
Though the government is urging that only visitors with essential purposes visit the islands, everyone traveling to the Bahamas must follow the current rules and regulations.
- Every visitor must have a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) RT-PCR test result from a sample dated 10 days or less before arrival. The requirement for a COVID 19 RT-PCR test does not apply to children who are 10 years and younger.
- All travelers must complete a Bahamas Health Visa application before departure. To complete the Health Visa, travelers must upload a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) RT-PCR test result or select a relevant exemption category, as well as provide his/hers contact information.
- The approved “Bahamas Health Visa” application must be presented at check-in and upon arrival.
- Upon arrival to The Bahamas, residents and visitors will be placed in a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine at a designated Government quarantine facility upon arrival. While in quarantine, your stay is at your own expense.
- Everyone is required to take another RT-PCR COVID 19 molecular diagnostic test at the end of the 14-day quarantine. This is also at your own expense.
During your stay in the Bahamas
Face masks are required in a taxi, at attractions when standing in line, while checking into your hotel or waiting for a table at a restaurant.
Though not required while on the beach, masks are required when exiting or entering a beach area. Only five people are allowed to gather on the the beach and social distancing is needed.
All hotel guests must return to their hotel by 10 PM every night until 5 AM daily. It is permitted to move freely around the hotel property during those hours. Masks and other preventive measures are required.
Penalty for not following the Bahamas safety protocols
The government isn’t playing games. Whether or not you’re a tourist or resident, rules will be enforced. Break the rules by not wearing a mask where required and you could face a $100 fine or a month in jail or even both.
The Bahamas is trying their best to look out for the health and safety of their residents. While businesses are hurting without cruise ship passengers, the government seems to be trying to keep tourism to a minimum during the pandemic. And an all-expenses not paid, two-week mandatory quarantine period certainly won’t encourage international travel.