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Procedures and Protocols

IMPORTANT UPDATES 10/07/20

 

Below are the procedures currently required by the Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas for the entering the country. We will continue to add details as they are announced.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR BOATERS AND BAHAMAS MARINAS for 2020

New:  The new provisions will take effect Friday, October 9th at 7pm for New Providence and Abaco only. No other islands have any changes to current protocols.
Sea and airports will be able to operate; no flights will be affected. Measures have no effect on air travel or private boat travel.
Full 24-hour weekend lockdowns – Fridays 7pm until 5am on Mondays
Weekday curfew will be from 7pm-5am daily
There will be a full 3-day lockdown for the holiday weekend until 5am on Tuesday, October 13
Only take away, curbside and delivery services for restaurants
No social gatherings will be permitted at all
Beaches and parks will be closed
All retail will be curbside except for food stores; gas stations cannot provide in store service

 

Recap from October 1st Update:

Beginning 1st November, The Bahamas will remove the mandatory “Vacation in Place” requirement for all visitors, returning citizens and residents thereby, enabling everyone to move about and explore the destination beyond the confines of their hotel or other accommodations.

 

Also effective Sunday 1 November, all incoming visitors must present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test upon arrival been taken no later than seven (7) days from the date of arrival in The Bahamas.

 

Once in possession of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test, all travelers will then be required to apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs (click on the International Tab) where the required test must be uploaded.

 

In addition, and to ensure that travelers remain COVID free, a rapid antigen test will be conducted upon arrival, and then again four days / five nights (96 hours) after arrival in The Bahamas. The rapid tests are easy, quick and will yield results in 20 minutes or less with results being provided electronically. Visitors departing on Day Five will not be required to obtain this test.

 

The 2nd test does not have to be conducted at the same location as the first, as long as both tests are taken at one the following locations:

 

If arriving by sea, an approved Port of Entry will be: Nassau (Atlantis, Bay Street Marina, Nassau Yacht Haven, Lyford Cay, and Albany); Grand Bahama (West End – Old Bahama Bay, and Freeport – Lucaya); Abaco (Marsh Harbour Government Dock); Eleuthera (Spanish Wells Marina); Berry Islands (Chubb Cay Club); Bimini (Big Game Club and Cat Cay Club); Exuma (Georgetown Government Dock).

 

Additional locations will be added, as approved.

 

If arriving by air, an approved Port of Entry will be: Nassau, Freeport, Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera, Georgetown (Exuma), Bimini (and Cat Cay) and San Andros (Andros).

 

American Airlines has indicated that, beginning in late October, they wish to provide each passenger traveling to The Bahamas from Miami with a Rapid COVID-19 antigen test before boarding the plane. These passengers, along with the passengers of any other airlines wishing to provide a similar service, will not be required to complete the Rapid Test upon arrival in The Bahamas.

 

Prior to November 1:

The RTPCR COVID-19 test must have been taken no later than five (5) days from the date of arrival in The Bahamas.

The emergency orders require a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals and for inter-island travel if you plan to come ashore. During the quarantine period, or if staying for less than 2 weeks, boaters are not allowed beyond the marina premises for any reason while on land. Cruising is permitted, along with visits to uninhabited islands (defined as population of 25 people or less). This is being referred to as “Vacation in Place”.

 

Departing in less than 14 days is allowed but must be done without contact with any community except for refueling and provisioning stops at marinas or traveling to and from private air flights.

 

Visitors cruising by private boat are permitted to spend their quarantine aboard their vessel. Fishing is permitted daily from 5 am to 6 pm with boats of no more than 2 people, unless on a larger vessel and from same household.

 

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.

Domestic / Inter-island Travel

 

  • There are no restrictions for inter-island travel within The Bahamas. Domestic travel needs to be logged in at https://travel.gov.bs/.
  • As of 4th of September 2020 RT-PCR Tests are only required for passengers departing New Providence and Grand Bahama. This means if you are coming to Nassau or Freeport from any family island you do not need a test.
  • RT-PCR Tests are required for travel between New Providence and Grand Bahama. This applies for travel in both directions, tests must be taken in Freeport for travel to Nassau and in Nassau for travel to Freeport.

 

Travel Information

Quick Turn Around Test Providers – see list: https://blog.bahamasmarinas.com/2020/08/30/covid-19-rt-pcr-testing-sites

 

Contact your health care professional to receive a COVID-19 RT-PCR Test. Tests are also available at select CVS and Walgreens stores across the U.S. For additional information, please visit your state or local health department’s website.

All travellers – both domestic and international – are required to complete an Electronic Travel Health Visa at travel.gov.bs prior to departure and for any inter-island travel within The Bahamas. An automated response will be provided upon completion, and only those who receive a green color-coded response can travel. Please submit this form at least 24-48 hours prior to arrival. It is essential that travellers present proof of confirmation upon arrival in their destination. All persons must submit to monitoring and may be asked to install the Hubbcat App on their cellular phones for purposes of contact tracing.

 

On GRAND BAHAMA: International and domestic flights or sea vessels are allowed in and out of the island, as of August 25, 2020.

 

Select individuals will be exempt from testing,

  • Children under the age of ten (10). Parent or guardian must provide proof of testing restriction upon arrival.
  • Private pilots who do not deplane

Failure to comply with the test requirements and heath form submission will result in denied entry.

Customs & Immigration Forms – fill out and print prior to arrival

All forms located: https://bahamasmarinas.com/enteringexiting-policies

 

Boaters Requirements once in The Bahamas

  • On arrival (having cleared at local ports of entry), anyone disembarking at a marina will be subject to potential additional screening mandated by Ministry of Health, such as taking of temperature.
  • While clearing Customs & Immigration, crew and passengers are required to wear a mask, covering the nose and mouth.
  • Facial masks covering nose and mouth must be worn at all times off of the marina / resort grounds.

 

As of July 1st, all pleasure vessels must now clear outbound before leaving. Upon leaving the Master of the Vessel will be granted a Certificate of Clearance. Please clear outwards at the last Port of Entry before you exit The Bahamas. There are NO fees required for the clearance certificate.
Boaters are no longer required to notify the BMA at sheltering@bahamasmaritime.com prior to entering the country or if moving to another island.

 

Important Information for all Travelers

Effective Wednesday 23 September 2020:

  • Normal commercial and additional social activities to resume on Andros, Acklins, Berry
    Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Inagua
    and Mayaguana with physical distancing and
  • 10pm to 5am curfew still in place for Grand Bahama and New Providence
  • Beaches open 5am – 12noon on Grand Bahama.
  • Current Emergency Powers Order still in place for New Providence and Abaco.
  • Beaches on Abaco open 5am to 10pm.

 

Additional lockdowns and other restrictions may be set on an island by island basis.

During times of curfew and lockdown, travellers must return to their accommodations (hotels, rentals, boats, etc.) and remain on property within the curfew hours. However, guests at hotels and marinas are free to move about the property within curfew hours and will not be confined to their rooms/boats, provided they follow individual property guidelines.

 

Masks are required in all public places. Fines for all persons, including Bahamians, residents and visitors, not wearing face mask is $250 or a period of one-month imprisonment or both.

 

Details on all government orders can be accessed here: https://opm.gov.bs/category/press-room/emergency-orders-covid-19.

For more information from the Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. visit www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening.