NO MORE TRAVEL QUARANTINE: New travel and testing protocols starting November 1

NO MORE TRAVEL QUARANTINE: New travel and testing protocols starting November 1
A plane soars over the Glass Window Bridge on Eleuthera (PHOTO COURTESY OF BAHAMAS.COM)

American Airline passengers will not be required to take a rapid test upon arrival

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Tourism announced yesterday that it will remove the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for visitors, returning citizens, and residents entering the country starting November 1.

The ministry outlined the new travel and testing protocols in a statement, adding that all incoming visitors must “Vacation in Place” for 14 days or the duration of stay until October 31.

This means visitors will still be limited to the grounds and amenities of a traveler’s hotel or accommodations.

However, beginning  November 1, the mandatory “Vacation in Place” requirement will be eliminated, enabling everyone to move about and explore the destination beyond the confines of their accommodations.

The new protocols will require visitors, returning citizens, and residents to obtain an RT-PCR test no more than seven days prior to their travel to The Bahamas.  

Once in possession of a negative test, all travelers will then be required to apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at a cost depending on the length of stay.

In addition, a rapid antigen test will be conducted upon arrival, and then again four days (96 hours) after arrival in The Bahamas.

The cost of the rapid tests on and after arrival will be included in the cost of the visa.

Protocol

On the day of arrival at an approved Port of Entry, every individual will receive a rapid COVID-19 antigen test.

After five days, all individuals who entered The Bahamas and are staying longer than four nights and five days will be required to take a second rapid COVID-19 antigen test.

All visitors departing on day five will not be required to obtain this test.

“The rapid tests are easy, quick, and will yield results in 20 minutes or less with results being provided electronically,” the ministry said.

“Many hotel properties will provide relevant information on testing arrangements, while others will facilitate the required rapid test for their guests.  

“All persons on yachts and other pleasure craft will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website.

“All other visitors, returning residents and citizens will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website.”

If arriving by air, an approved Port of Entry will be Nassau, Freeport, Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera, Georgetown (Exuma), Bimini (and Cat Cay), and San Andros (Andros).

If arriving by sea, an approved Port of Entry will be Nassau (Atlantis, Bay Street Marina, Lyford Cay, and Albany); Grand Bahama (West End – Old Bahama Bay and Freeport – Lucaya); Abaco (Marsh Harbour Government Dock); Eleuthera (Spanish Wells Marina); Berry Islands (Chubb Cay Club); Bimini (Big Game Club and Cat Cay Club); Exuma (Georgetown Government Dock).

The ministry noted passengers flying on American Airlines flights will not be required to do a rapid COVID-19 antigen test, given that the airline has announced that beginning late October they will provide each passenger traveling to The Bahamas from Miami with a rapid test before boarding the plane. 

“The Bahamas has remained diligent in its efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 throughout the islands, and these measures are imperative to ensure that remains the case,” the statement added.

“The health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors remain the number one priority of our public health officials.

“It is important to note, however, that due to fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, both in The Bahamas and worldwide, protocols are subject to change.”

3 comments

If someone tests positive after 5 days, then what? Deport them? How? Quarantine them? Where? Carry them all to Nassau and lock down in the quarantine center? Can they detain and lock down foreign nationals who have committed no crime? How will they deal with lawsuits from this because some money hungry person will sue saying they contracted it after arrival and/or that they were quarantined against their will?

Stop trying to pretend we can control a virus. We did not go through this in 2018 when 1.5million people died from a contagious respiratory virus.

So…Bahamas still closed unless you have business there and are desperate. Americans won’t go, test positive and they know the health care isn’t even available for the Bahamians nevermind the Americans. Winter boatera usually go in Nov., now they will make plans outside the Bahamas.

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