Bahamas Travel Restrictions Due To Covid-19

Written by Chuck Baier
July 31, 2020
  • The Government of The Bahamas has issued a variety of travel restrictions and other measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Key highlights include (more details on each are below):
    • ENTRY REQUIREMENTS for ALL TRAVELERS STRICTLY ENFORCED
    • 14-DAY QUARANTINE for ALL VISITORS 
    • INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL STOPS JULY 28
    • NATIONWIDE WEEKEND LOCKDOWNS
    • NATIONAL DAILY CURFEW
    • GRAND BAHAMA-SPECIFIC MEASURES
  • Returning to The United States: If you are a U.S. citizen and want to return to the United States, make plans to do so immediately using any currently available means. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from The Bahamas. Private charter flights to the United States are available through several charter companies. You can find a list (regularly updated) at https://bs.usembassy.gov/charter-companies.
  • Regularly monitor www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening (including that page’s FAQs) and the Office of the Prime Minister of The Bahamas’ webpage and Facebook page, and check with your travel vendors (air carriers and hotels) before your anticipated travel.
  • Make flexible travel plans, to the best of your ability, and regularly check for updates to travel requirements leading up to your date of departure. 
  • The Bahamian government has confirmed multiple positive cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas. Review the Bahamian government’s COVID-19 information page and the Office of the Prime Minister of The Bahamas website and Facebook page for the latest.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts directly to your inbox.
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy’s social media properties on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Entry Requirements

Traveling to The Bahamas

All requirements are mandatory and strictly enforced by the Bahamian authorities

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS for ALL TRAVELERS

  • U.S. citizens require a valid U.S. passport to enter The Bahamas and return to the U.S.
  • 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. Allow 72 hours to process.
  • Each traveler 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. The test must not have been taken more than ten (10) days prior to the date of arrival.
  • For testing locations in the United States, contact your local or state health department.
  • The following are exempt from presenting a COVID-19 test upon entering The Bahamas:
    • Children under the age of 2
    • Private pilots who do not deplane

QUARANTINE and ENTRY RESTRICTIONS

  • 14-DAY QUARANTINE for VISITORS: All travelers entering The Bahamas (regardless of country of origin, including the United States) must undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, at their own expense. At the end of their quarantine, visitors must take an RT-PCR COVID-19 molecular test. All visitors must also follow the other mandatory entry requirements for entering The Bahamas, to include the COVID-19 testing and Travel Health Visa Application procedures outlined above.

Travel to The United States

Visit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s website for the most up-to-date information on entry requirements for The United States.

U.S. CITIZENS and LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS

  • U.S. citizens who want to return to the United States should arrange for immediate return using any available means, or be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period of time.
  • The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from The Bahamas.
  • Private charter flights to the United States are available through several charter companies. You can find a list (regularly updated) at https://bs.usembassy.gov/charter-companies.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued special instructions for U.S. citizens passengers who (in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States) have been in Brazil, China, the Schengen area of Europe, Iran, Ireland, or the United Kingdom. See the  DHS website for further details.

BAHAMIAN TRAVELERS and OTHER NON-U.S. CITIZENS

  • Routine visa services remain suspended around the world, with some individual Embassies and Consulates resuming some services on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. Embassy in Nassau suspended routine visa operations on March 16, 2020. We do not have a firm timeline for when routine visa services will resume.
  • International visitors who (in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States) have been in Brazil, China, the Schengen area of Europe, Iran, Ireland, or the United Kingdom, may not enter the United States. See the  DHS website for further details.

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.

INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL

  • FOR ALL TRAVELERS: Each traveler must go to travel.gov.bs, select “Domestic” and complete and submit the online Travel Health Card. Travelers will receive a confirmation via email. Each traveler must present their confirmation upon arrival at their destination.
  • INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL SUSPENDED JULY 28: Inter-island travel within The Bahamas will be prohibited effective July 28 at 7:00pm. Anyone returning from New Providence (Nassau)—and other islands where COVID-19 is present—to another Bahamian island before July 28 must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • 14-DAY QUARANTINE for INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL before JULY 28: Before the full ban goes into effect on July 28, travelers returning from New Providence (Nassau)–or other islands where COVID-19 is present–to another island must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • IN THE EVENT of LOCKDOWN: Any persons leaving an island with an impending lockdown must, at their own expense, submit to a 14 day quarantine in a government facility, followed by an RT PCR COVID-19 molecular test.
  • FERRY BOAT OPERATIONS SUSPENDED: Ferries between East End, Grand Bahama and Crown Haven, Abaco will not be suspended, effective Monday, July 20 at 5:00 a.m.

LOCKDOWNS AND CURFEW

  • FULL WEEKEND LOCKDOWN: A full lockdown is in effect every weekend until further notice, from Fridays at 10:00pm through Mondays at 5:00am. During weekend lockdowns, you may only leave your residence for medical emergencies or to visit grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations (these merchants may operate from 7:00am to 6:00pm). You must remain within the confines of your home/yard or lodging.  (This weekend lockdown is in effect for the entire country except for Grand Bahama, which is under its own full lockdown through August 7 at 5:00am.)
  • NATIONAL DAILY CURFEW: An updated Monday – Friday daily curfew will be in force from 7:00pm to 5:00am, effective July 27, followed by the full weekend lockdowns that begin at 10:00pm on Fridays. During curfew periods, all individuals must comply and remain confined to their place of lodging or residence/yard.  All businesses are required to close by 6:00pm. (This weekend lockdown is in effect for the entire country except for Grand Bahama, which is under a full lockdown through August 7 at 5:00am).
  • GRAND BAHAMA SPECIFIC LOCKDOWN: Read more details in the latest Grand Bahama Health Alert

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING: 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.
  • MASK REGULATIONS: 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.
  • 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.

ISLAND-SPECIFIC REGULATIONS

  • GRAND BAHAMA:  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 borders will be closed to all incoming flights and sea vessels to and from Grand Bahama effective July 21 at 6:00 pm. International and domestic borders are 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. All beaches and public parks are closed until further notice.
  • 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 are closed until further notice.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Actions to Take

For Assistance

  • U.S. Embassy Nassau, The Bahamas
    #42 Queen Street, Nassau  / +1-242-322-1181
    [email protected]
  • State Department – Consular Affairs
    1 (888) 407-4747 (when dialing from within the U.S.)
    +1 (202) 501-4444 (when dialing from overseas)

Chuck Baier

[email protected]