Bahamas lifts mandatory COVID-19 quarantine requirement for arriving travelers Nov. 1. Internal measures, curfews in place on some islands.
Authorities in the Bahamas have lifted the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement for all arriving passengers as of Nov. 1. However, other entry requirements related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic are still in place:
- Travelers over the age of 10 must present a negative COVID-19 test certificate taken no more than five days before travel. Travelers who fail to present this document will be denied entry.
- Persons visiting the country for more than four nights/five days will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test on day 5.
- Effective Nov. 14, travelers will be required to apply for a mandatory Bahamas Travel Health Visa.
Nationwide internal restrictions remain unchanged, including requirements to adhere to social distancing and sanitization protocols and to wear a facemask in public. Stricter measures are being enforced in New Providence, Abaco, and Grand Bahama; however, most restrictions have been lifted on all other islands:
Second Schedule Islands
As of Oct. 30, a weekday curfew is in place 2000-0500 in New Providence and Abaco, with a 24-hour weekend curfew 1900 Fridays-0500 Mondays; the 2000-0500 curfew is being enforced in Grand Bahama daily. Only essential businesses such as food stores, pharmacies, gas stations, construction sites, and laundromats are permitted to operate during the 24-hour weekend curfew; however, the National Food Distribution Task Force will operate during these periods. In Abaco, food stores may open Saturdays 0600-1900. Air and sea ports will continue to operate normally.
In Grand Bahama, weddings and funerals (graveside only) are restricted to a maximum of 10 people in attendance. In Abaco and New Providence, the following measures are in place:
- All social gatherings are prohibited.
- Everyone who can work from home should.
- Restaurants may only offer take-away, curbside, and delivery services.
- Retail stores may offer curbside services only. Gas stations are also not permitted to provide in-store services.
- Schools are closed to in-person teaching.
- Parks and gyms are to remain closed.
- Effective Nov. 2, beaches may reopen 0500-2000 Monday-Friday, with a maximum of five people per group.
- Exercise is permitted in one’s neighborhood 0500-0900 on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Weddings and graveside funerals are limited to 10 people in attendance only. Wedding receptions, wakes, and repasts are not permitted.
- Worship services are permitted for one hour on weekends 0700-1300. Churches may also offer individual/private prayer during the week.
First Schedule Islands
Normal commercial activity and most social activities have resumed on all remaining islands, including the Family Islands of Acklins, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua, and Mayaguana, as well as Chub Cay, Long Cay, Long Island, Harbour Island, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Spanish Wells. Church services, funerals, and weddings may proceed, but physical distancing protocols must be adhered to and individuals must wear facemasks. Social gatherings are to be limited to 20 people.
Background and Analysis
All measures are subject to change at short notice. Relaxed restrictions may be reapplied on First Schedule Islands if the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increases. This is especially likely on the more densely populated islands of Grand Bahama, Bimini, and New Providence, where the capital and commercial hub, Nassau, is located. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.