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.”
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.
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