The Bahamas Updates Protocols for Travel Including Cruise Passengers

The Bahamas updates travel protocols with a negative test requirement including for cruise ship passengers.

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Are you traveling to the Bahamas on a cruise or a vacation in the coming weeks and months? Then you’ll want to read on as the Bahamas has introduced stricter measures for those traveling to and in the Bahamas.

These measures include those planning on taking a beach vacation coming from a different country, cruise passengers embarking on cruises that originate in and return to The Bahamas, and those traveling inter-island.

Fully Vaccinated Tourists Must Now Present Valid and Negative PCR-RT test

On May 1, the Bahamian government dropped the requirement for all travelers to present a negative rapid antigen test or PCR test before entering the country if they were fully vaccinated. However, effective August 6, 2021, the government says that even if people have been fully vaccinated, they still need to provide a negative test result.

The move from the Bahamian government comes after a spike in Delta variant cases in the region and multiple cases that occurred onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship last week. Medical staff onboard Adventure of the Seas, currently sailing on cruises out of the Bahamas, found six active cases during testing onboard.

Adventure of the Seas in Nassau
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Of those six positive guests, four were fully vaccinated, of which three were asymptomatic, and one showed mild symptoms. Two of the guests were kids and unvaccinated and asymptomatic.

Although the cruise line showed the procedures onboard work and can prevent any outbreaks happening onboard the ships, it also shows vaccinated guests can still carry and possibly transmit the virus. It has prompted the Bahamian government to announce stricter measures to protect the local population, which, according to Reuters, has only vaccinated 13.4% of the general population.

What Measures is the Bahamas Implementing?

While the islands are strengthening the fight against COVID, we are not seeing a return just yet to the previous lockdown situation. That being said, the new rules are significantly tighter than in the period since May 1.

Entering The Bahamas from Other Countries

All fully vaccinated travelers and children ages 2-11 will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than five days before the date of arrival. Unvaccinated travelers ages 12 and older must still obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than five days before the date of arrival. Kids under two years of age do not need to be tested.

Cruise Testing

Travelling Inter-Island within The Bahamas

Anyone traveling from and to the following islands: Nassau & Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Exuma, Abaco, and North and South Eleuthera, including Harbour Island:

All fully vaccinated travelers and children ages 2-11 will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than five days before the date of arrival. Unvaccinated travelers ages 12 and older must still obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than five days before the date of arrival. Kids under two years of age do not need to be tested.

Also Read: Nassau, Bahamas Travel Tips – What You Need to Know

Cruise Passengers

Guests on cruises that originate in and return to The Bahamas must apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa and comply with the following:

Vaccinated persons must provide a negative PCR test OR rapid antigen test taken no more than five days before the date of arrival to The Bahamas. Unvaccinated persons must obtain a negative PCR test taken no more than five days before the date of arrival to The Bahamas.

Those guests on a cruise that originated in the United States do not need to comply with the above but instead must comply with the rules laid out by the cruise lines, as the Bahamian government has approved these. Those going on a cruise or traveling to the Bahamas after August 6 but already have a Bahamas Travel Health Visa do not need to worry, as the requirements will be waived in this case.

Cruise Ships in Nassau

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