NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Travelers entering the country and needing to secure the mandatory health visa were left frustrated over the weekend after a system “reboot” disrupted the connection between the health visa site and payment portal, according to Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.
D’Aguilar told Eyewitness News: “The health visa is being run on the government’s servers and at 3am on Saturday morning there was some routine maintenance done and that cascaded into the need to reboot all of the servers. When they rebooted all of the servers, it caused the communication link between the health visa website and the payment portal to be disconnected.”
The payment portal is being operated by local digital payments provider Kanoo.
D’Aguilar added: “People were able to apply for their health visa but could not pay for them. It was not until 9pm on Saturday that the issue got resolved. Obviously it created a backlog of persons who had applied and could not pay. To identify the problem and come up with a mitigation plan took longer than it should have. The issue caused a lot of confusion and had to be corrected. All of the visas held up during the breakdown should now be approved. We apologize for that and the inconvenience it caused. Technology is wonderful when it works well, but when it doesn’t, it can be a nightmare.”
All travelers, returning citizens and residents arriving via commercial flights, as well as by private planes, private boats, yachts or pleasure craft, are required to apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa at travel.gov.bs. A negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result must be uploaded to complete the health visa application. Visitors must also opt in for health insurance coverage.