The Bahamas reopened tourism to all on July 1, however, due to the amount of new COVID-19 cases The Bahamas has made the call to close its airports and seaports to passengers coming from the United States.
The change will go into effect starting at midnight on Wednesday, July 22.
In a nationwide address made earlier today, the Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis stated that the islands’ national carrier, Bahamasair, will be discontinuing all outbound flights to the U.S. immediately, reported the Miami Herald.
Other outgoing commercial flights, however, will still be allowed to repatriate U.S. visitors who’d been scheduled to leave The Bahamas after July 22.
Bahamian residents and visitors, says the official website, will still be permitted to enter the islands when arriving by private international flights and charters, yachts and pleasure craft.
Minnis, who has also taken on the role of acting health minister since May, remarked: “Regrettably, the situation here at home has already deteriorated since we began the reopening of our domestic economy. It has deteriorated at an exponential rate since we reopened our international borders.”
Visitors originating from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union will still be welcomed, as long as they fulfill a few requirements. Prior to departure, foreign travelers must fill out an online Health Visa form, which may take up to 72 hours to process, and so should be submitted within an adequate time frame.
Approved Health Visas are issued a “green” confirmation, proof of which will need to be shown at airport check-in and upon arrival in the country.
They’ll also need to provide the negative results of a COVID-19 PCR Test, from an approved lab and drawn no more than ten days prior to the date of their intended arrival in The Bahamas (children under the age of ten are exempted).
Test results will need to be uploaded via the Health Visa portal, as well as presented in person upon arrival at the airport, where they will also be temperature-screened.
Everyone is required to wear masks during travel and throughout the entry process, and anyone displaying symptoms of the virus will be transferred by Bahamian health personnel for further evaluation, testing and possible quarantine. No self-quarantine period is required for those who pass their health checks and are granted entry into The Bahamas.