NASSAU, Bahamas, June 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is preparing for Phase 2 of the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, which will begin on Wednesday, July 1 and allow for the resumption of international travel to The Bahamas, with the exception of visitors from China, Iran, Italy and France.
Policies and Procedures for all travellers visiting The Bahamas beginning July 1 are as follows. Plans continue to evolve in response to COVID-19 trends, and so additional guidance will be communicated as details are available.
Due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and in an abundance of caution for the health and safety of both travellers and residents, all incoming visitors must present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test upon arrival. Results must be no more than ten (10) days old.
Select individuals will be exempt from testing, which includes children under the age of two, private pilots who do not deplane, and Bahamian citizens, residents and homeowners returning from English speaking CARICOM countries.
All travellers will be required to complete an electronic Health Visa. Additional information is forthcoming.
No quarantine will be required upon arrival, however, travellers who show symptoms of COVID-19 may be transferred to an area away from other passengers for further testing and evaluation.
All inter-island travellers must complete an electronic Domestic Travel form at travel.gov.bs prior to departure and for any inter-island travel within The Bahamas. An automated response will be provided upon completion. All travellers must have their confirmation on hand upon arrival to their destination. This is a crucial step for contact tracing purposes.
At airports and seaports, healthcare personnel will conduct temperature screenings for all incoming visitors. Travellers will be required to wear a face mask in any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines, such as when entering and transiting air and sea terminals, while navigating security and customs screenings, and at baggage claim.
As part of Phase 2, hotels and vacation rentals, including Airbnb and HomeAway will open to guests. Domestic and International airlines are permitted to resume service, and many are beginning to announce plans for their return to The Bahamas:
Delta Airlines will be resuming its twice daily Atlanta to Nassau service July 2
United Airlines announced its daily Houston to Nassau service will resume July 6 and the Saturday-only Denver to Nassau service will resume July 11.
American Airlines will resume flights to Nassau and Exuma on July 7.
Air Canada is scheduled to resume flights from Toronto to Nassau on July 3, 2020
Additional airlift resumptions are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Travellers should check with airlines directly for details on recommencement of service and any protocols for travel.
This July 1 tourism re-entry builds on and supports existing government rules and regulations, which already allows for the resumption of travel for international boaters, yachters and those traveling on private aviation as well as inter-island domestic travel for Bahamian citizens and residents.
Once on island, travellers should expect to follow The Bahamas' "Healthy Traveler Campaign" that encourages both visitors and residents to continue practicing social distancing measures, regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizers, and pack appropriate PPE such as face masks, just as they would their swimsuits and sunscreen.
A Certification Agency has been established - representing a collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, and other regulatory agencies - to enforce a Clean & Pristine certification program across the islands. All tourism related, customer-facing entities in The Bahamas must verify they have in place and are adhering to the Government approved health and safety guidelines to receive Clean & Pristine certification. Adequate signage outlining policies will be clearly displayed at all locations helping to guide staff and visitors. Travellers are encouraged to visit direct business websites prior to booking or traveling to ensure they are aware and comfortable with the policies they will need to abide by. Additional details about on-island protocols can be found at www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.
Reopening of borders will continue to be monitored and guided by The Bahamas government and health officials. Reopening dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 trends, if there is a deterioration in improvement or if government and health organizations deem these phases unsafe for residents or visitors.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation believes it is an absolute baseline requirement for consumers to have a comfort level that The Bahamas is a safe and healthy destination to visit, and the ultimate goal is for that to remain the case. For more information, or to view the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, please visit: www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.
All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8 p.m. – 8 a.m. EDT).