Bahamas Border Closes to Commercial Travel from the U.S.

Bahamas Border
Bahamas

The Bahamas reopened tourism on July 1 and now a new story unfolds.

In a nutshell: The Bahamas will be reclosing the border to commercial flights from the U.S. effective midnight on July 22. Travelers from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union are exempt from this latest news.

There’s an exception for American travelers though – U.S. travelers arriving via a private flight or charter (or pleasure craft and yachts) WILL be permitted.  You can continue to check on reopening updates here.

UPDATE:
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 private flight info above still applies.

This latest order by the Prime Minister of The Bahamas came about due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States and an increase in cases in The Bahamas. With a total of 153 cases as of today, it appears that the cases began to spike in The Bahamas around July 15th with about 49 new cases since they reopened on July 1st.  It’s likely that this wasn’t an easy decision.  According to the U.S. Department of State, a majority of the 5.5 million tourists who visit The Bahamas each year come from the United States.

Also, Bahamasair will cease outgoing flights to the United States, effective immediately. But, note that outgoing flights will be permitted to accommodate any current visitors scheduled to return to the United States after Wednesday, July 22.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re arriving from Canada, the U.K., or the European Union:

  1. You must show proof of your Negative COVID-19 (RT-PCR) Test Results taken no more than ten (10) days prior to the date of travel.
    ** Upon arrival, any person presenting a test older than ten (10) days will not be allowed entry into The Bahamas. Children under the age of ten (10) do not need a test.
  2. All travelers must complete an electronic Health Visa application form prior to departure.  This is where you’ll upload your test results and provide contact information.  These take up to 72-hours to process. An approved Health Visa will receive a green code, and proof of confirmation must be presented at check-in and upon arrival in your destination.
  3. You will be required to wear a face mask where it’s necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines such as navigating air terminals, collecting luggage, the full duration of taxi rides, and while waiting to be seated at dining establishments.

Another note related to this is that Sandals Emerald Bay has closed again as of today (they had already reopened). Sandals Royal Bahamian is scheduled to reopen on Nov. 1st.  Also of note is that  Atlantis Paradise Island Resort is closed until further notice.

So, as of now, Americans can take The Bahamas off their list for travel (unless they have access to a private plane and want to quarantine for two weeks). The reopening of borders, based on COVID-19 trends, will continue to be monitored and guided by The Bahamas government and health officials. 

About Donna Adinolfi - Editor-in-Chief 161 Articles
In addition to being our Editor-in-Chief, Donna Adinolfi is a wellness travel expert, a freelance writer, an award-winning photographer, and the founder/publisher of MindfulAdventures.com. Her 30+ year career includes serving as the Travel & Spa Editor of Balance Magazine as well as planning wellness travel & retreats. An avid fan of the freedom from carrying cash or credit cards, Donna loves to visit all-inclusive wellness resorts in the U.S, and traveling to some of Mexico's and the Caribbean's many all-inclusive resorts several times each year. She's also a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.

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