July 04, 2020
Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, COVID-19 Task Force Coordinator and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister announced that the Ministry of Health is working with the Ministry of Tourism to establish a COVID-19 hotline specifically for hotels and vacation properties.
“As a part of our phased approach to re-opening, our borders opened yesterday – the 1st of July -- to international commercial travel,” Dr. Dahl-Regis said during the COVID-19 Update Press Conference held at the Ministry of Health, Thursday, July 2, 2020.
She said the borders of The Bahamas are now open to all travellers:
• Nationals and legal residents;
• Visitors from all countries, who meet the entry requirements;
• Commercial Airlines;
• Private aviation – planes and charters;
• Cruise ships; and
• Private ships and charters.
However, there are several guidelines:
1. A negative PCR COVID-19 test result is required to enter The Bahamas. Before the 7th of July the test must not be older than 10 days before travel. As of the 7th of July, the test must not be older than seven days before travel.
2. All persons are required to have the RT PCR (molecular swab) test in advance with a negative/not detected result from a laboratory that is accredited or certified by CAP (College of American Pathologists), CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), COLA Inc, JCI (Joint Commission International) or similar accrediting/certifying body for the jurisdiction.
All incoming visitors must present the COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test results upon application for the Bahamas Health Visa and upon arrival.
4. Select travellers may be exempt from testing, which includes children under the age of 2, private pilots who do not deplane, and Bahamian citizens, residents, homeowners returning from English-speaking CARICOM countries.
5. Children under 10 should not require a test provided such a test is prohibited by the departing jurisdiction’s policy. Such policy should be confirmed in writing.
6. Also, Bahamian citizens and Legal Residents who have been out of The Bahamas for less than 72 hours will not require a COVID-19 RT-PRC Test to re-enter. These travellers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to The Bahamas.
7. All travellers will be required to complete an electronic application to obtain a Bahamas Health Visa Card, which can be found at travel.gov.bs. An automated response will be provided upon completion. Travelers should also upload their COVID-19 test results on this same website. All travellers must have their confirmation on hand upon arrival at their destination. This is a crucial step for contact tracing purposes.
8. For most arriving passengers, no quarantine will be required upon arrival; however, travellers who show symptoms of COVID-19 will be transferred to an area away from other passengers for further evaluation.
9. 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.
10. Returning residents of The Bahamas who can provide documentation from an authority (country, jurisdiction, territory, hospital, laboratory, etc.) that they are unable to be tested, will be allowed to return, however, they will be placed in quarantine for 14 days. The documentation can be uploaded to travel.gov.bs.