Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism & Aviation Statement On Updated Covid-19 Measures

NASSAU, Bahamas, September 14, 2020 – As residents, businesses and visitors throughout The Islands of The Bahamas continue to follow guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Government of The Bahamas has issued updated measures and protocols allowing for the reopening of additional businesses and services, as well as extended operating hours for beaches and parks. Specific elements of the latest Emergency Order are listed below and can be found in full at opm.bs.gov.

 Implications for Travellers:

The Bahamas is moving towards the continued recovery and reopening of the country’s tourism industry while ensuring the health and wellbeing of citizens, residents and visitors of The Bahamas remain paramount. International travellers are currently welcome in The Bahamas, however, they are required to adhere to all protocols and restrictions.

Beginning October 15, The Bahamas will enter Phase 3 of the Tourism Readiness & Recovery Plan ahead of the busy holiday season, which will include the reopening of beaches and a number of hotels across Nassau & Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and the Family Islands. Commercial airlines continue to return with scheduled flights. As of September, American Airlines, JetBlue and Silver Airlines are offering service from markets such as Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa, Fla., as well as Charlotte, N.C., while Delta Air Lines is scheduled to return Nov. 1 with service from Atlanta, Ga.    

Requirements for entering The Bahamas include:

  • All travellers must apply for a Bahamas Health Visa at travel.gov.bs by selecting the International option and completing all required fields.
  • Effective Tuesday, September 1, all incoming visitors, as well as returning citizens and residents, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test, taken no more than five (5) days prior to the date of arrival. All test results must be uploaded when applying for a Bahamas Health Visa.

o   The only applicants who are not required to provide  a COVID-19 test are:

  • Children under the age of ten (10)
  • Pilots and crew who remain overnight in The Bahamas. 

  • All visitors and returning residents are required to “Vacation in Place” (VIP) for 14 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter.
    • Travellers are permitted to Vacation in Place at a hotel, private club or rented accommodations (like Airbnb), as well as on a private boat.
    • Pilots and crew who remain overnight in The Bahamas must remain at their hotel property until returning to the airport for their next flight, and  are not required to stay in the country for 14 days.
    • Hotel guests are permitted to access all available amenities on property during the Vacation in Place period.
    • All persons must submit to monitoring and install the Hubbcat app on their cellular phones for purposes of contact tracing. Visitors should download the app prior to travel in order to expedite their arrival process.
    • After the 14 days, all persons intending to remain in the country may be required to complete another COVID-19 test, at their own expense, to exit Vacation in Place. 

Full details on entry protocols and the forward-looking recovery and reopening plan for The Islands of The Bahamas can be found on Bahamas.com/travelupdates.  

Details of Emergency Orders by Island:

The following measures are applicable to Nassau & Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island, as well as Family Islands including Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera,Exuma, Inagua, and Mayaguana.

  • A mandatory curfew is in place from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. daily. No person is permitted to leave their homes or accommodations during this period, except to seek urgent medical care at a hospital.
  • All persons are required to follow health measures, including proper hand washing and sanitization, physical distancing and the use of masks or face coverings fitted over the nose and mouth.
  • Commercial banks and credit unions may open Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Public and private buses, as well as taxis, are allowed to operate at 50% occupancy. Total passenger capacity to be posted via signage on each vehicle.
  • Beaches and parks will be open daily from 5 a.m. – 12 p.m. A face mask must be worn upon entering and exiting the beach area, and gatherings are limited to groups of five people.
  • Residents are permitted to exercise outdoors in neighborhoods from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. Outdoor group exercise is permitted from 5 a.m. – 12 p.m.

 The following measures are applicable to Nassau & Paradise Island:

  • Essential businesses including grocery stores, pharmacies, water depots, gas stations and hardware stores are permitted to operate daily between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Restaurants may operate daily from 5 a.m. – 9 p.m. and provide outdoor dining, curb-side, takeaway and delivery service. To note, Fish Fry restaurants can offer curbside and takeaway, but will not be open for outdoor dining.
  • Retail shops are permitted to offer curbside and delivery service Monday through Saturday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Clothing and fabric stores may open for in-store shopping from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
  • Beauty salons and barbershops may open to accommodate one patron per service provider at a time.

 The following measures are applicable to Grand Bahama Island, as well as Family Islands including Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera,Exuma, Inagua, and Mayaguana:

  • All businesses, with the exception of high-risk businesses, such as casinos, bars, cinemas and gyms, will be able to operate daily between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., subject to the safety protocols.
  • Retailers are now permitted to offer in-store services between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., subject to the safety protocols.  
  • Restaurants may operate daily from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. and provide indoor dining services provided they follow the physical distancing, mask wearing and sanitation protocols. To note, Fish Fry restaurants can offer curbside and takeaway, but will not be open for outdoor dining.
  • Social gathering of up to a maximum of ten people are permitted on all islands with the exception of New Providence.

 Please visit opm.bs.gov for full details related to commercial and social activities allowed under the latest Emergency Order.

 Family Islands such as Chub Cay, Long Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay, Ragged Island, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells and San Salvador will continue with no curfew, but must abide by physical distancing and sanitation protocols. Restaurants on these islands are also permitted to operate at 50% occupancy.

 The Bahamas has remained diligent in efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 throughout the islands, and these measures are imperative to ensure that remains the case. Due to fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, both in The Bahamas and worldwide, protocols are subject to change. The health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors remain the number one priority, and public health officials are closely monitoring indicators to determine whether more or less stringent measures will be required going forward.  

 

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PRESS INQUIRIES 

Anita Johnson-Patty

General Manager, Global Communications

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

ajohnson@bahamas.com

 

Weber Shandwick

Public Relations

Bahamas@webershandwick.com

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