VISA CUTBACKS: Davis admin axes travel health visa for inter-island travel and removes cost for residents

VISA CUTBACKS: Davis admin axes travel health visa for inter-island travel and removes cost for residents

Negative COVID tests still required; visa still in place for travel into Bahamas

Testing on day 5 of travel now only required for those entering the country

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Newly-appointed Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville yesterday announced several amendments to the Bahamas travel health visa, notably that it is no longer required for inter-island travel and visa fees for all returning Bahamian citizens and residents have been removed. 

A press release outlining a series of changes to the existing emergency order read: “Vaccinated individuals travelling inter-island from New Providence or Grand Bahama will now be exempt from obtaining a travel health visa; they are only required to produce a negative rapid antigen test of the type approved by the Ministry of Health.”

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville (center). (BIS/PATRICK HANNA)

It also stated that non-vaccinated travelers will only need to produce a negative RT-PCR test at the point of embarkation during inter-island travel. 

For individuals who are traveling inter-island from any other island in The Bahamas, excluding New Providence and Grand Bahama, only a negative rapid antigen test will need to be produced at the point of embarkation to travel. 

Bahamian citizens, residents and visitors are all required to obtain a travel health visa to enter The Bahamas. The payment of the travel health visa fee is waived for returning Bahamian citizens and residents.

Prior to this latest amendment, the travel health visa fee for unvaccinated Bahamian citizens and residents was $40 per traveler; and the fee for vaccinated Bahamian citizens and residents was $10 per traveler. 

The statement also noted amendments to secondary testing, which refers to the rapid antigen test required for travelers to take on the fifth day of being in the Bahamas.

This is now only a requirement upon five days after entry in the country.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis.

This amendment is amongst the first set of promises honored by the Davis administration, who on the campaign trail decried the previous travel health visa requirements.

At the time, party leader and now Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis called the visa “a burdensome, unnecessary tax on Bahamians at a time of widespread economic pain”.

He vowed to end the visa altogether at the time, however, the travel health visa is still in effect, only modified. 

It was rolled out in November 2020 under the Minnis administration. 

Written by Eyewitness News Intern Gabrielle Sterling

About Gabrielle Sterling

Gabrielle Sterling is a digital intern at Eyewitness News, focusing on human interest stories and lifestyle features. She got her start in communications at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBAU), where she earned a BA in Public Relations and Theatre Arts and participated in several student organizations, namely as a social events coordinator for the PBAU Student Government Association, a Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) member and both a stage manager and actress for university theatrical productions. In 2019, she also received the honor of “Most Outstanding Graduate in Public Relations” out of her graduating class. Since then, Gabrielle has parlayed her studies into a diverse communications portfolio, serving as a marketing associate at a non-profit actors’ equity theatre and as a public relations assistant & contributor for an entertainment public relations agency. The cornerstones of her professional identity are persistence, integrity, originality and a sterling standard of work.


This travel visa rollout was already in place. This was abolished for Bahamians travelling inter Island and abroad already. This information is certainly nothing new. The new govt is piggybacking of the former govt strategies.

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