PROTOCOLS & REQUIREMENTS FOR BAHAMAS BOATING
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.
Important Updates 1/13/20
REQUIREMENTS FOR BOATERS AND BAHAMAS MARINAS
The CDC has announced a requirement that all air passengers , including returning American citizens, arriving in The United States by airline (commercial and private) will have to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel. The test must be a viral test (NAAT/molecular or antigen test). Proof of immunization will not be sufficient. Be sure to check your specific airline to see what their exact requirements are.
The agency will not require further testing in the three months after a positive test, so long as the traveler has not had any symptoms. In this situation, a passenger may travel with documentation of the positive test result and a letter from a health care provider or a public health official stating that the traveler now has been cleared for travel. CDC does not require that international travelers undergo mandatory federal quarantine, but does recommend travelers do the following after an international flight.
The new rule takes effect on January 26, 2021 and only applies to those flying. The regulations do NOT apply to those traveling by boat.
Frequently Asked Questions - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html
To enter The Bahamas, the results of an RTPCR COVID 19 molecular diagnostic test shall be valid for a period of five (5) days from the date on which the test was taken. (The day the test is taken is considered Day Zero.)
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. If technical difficulties are experienced with the Health Travel Visa website, please call (242) 502-0829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fees for the Bahamas Health Travel Visa, inclusive of Day 5 Rapid Antigen Test and mandatory health insurance, are as follows:
$40 – Visitors staying up to four nights and five days.
$40 – Citizens and returning residents.
$60 – Visitors staying more than four nights.
Free - Children 10 years and under
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. Please also bring printed copy of negative test result.
The rapid antigen test will be conducted 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 via a QR Code. Visitors departing on Day Five will not be required to obtain this test. Boaters who have entered The Bahamas and are out to sea on the fifth day are required to obtain an Antigen Test at the first port of call thereafter.
Approved ABM Member Marina Testing Sites
Eleuthera / Harbour Island – Romora Bay Resort & Marina – all for guests only
Tests will also be administered at many medical centers and administration office locations on all major islands. Customs and Immigration offices on the islands will NOT be administering tests. Click here and scroll down for full list: COVID-19 Status - The Bahamas.
If your destination is not on the list, check with the management of your destination Bahamas marina for local testing locations. Additional locations will be added, as approved.
American Airlines will provide each passenger traveling to The Bahamas from Miami with a Rapid COVID-19 antigen test before boarding the plane. Tropic Ocean Airways will also be providing this service. 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.
Additional Bahamas Travel Information
Boaters traveling to the Bahamas can arrive in the country outside of the required Health Visa window provided they can demonstrate that they made the voyage directly to the port of entry in the Bahamas without an intervening port.
The relevant verbiage is found in Emergency Powers (COVID 19 Pandemic) (No. 13) Order 2020 posted in Dec 1. Para 16. Travel Health Visa (6) which reads in part
... A person traveling to The Bahamas on a commercial or private vessel whose arrival in The Bahamas extends beyond the five day period for a valid a RTPCR COVID 19 molecular diagnostic test result, shall be granted a travel health visa upon application and permitted to enter the Bahamas provided the captain of that vessel can prove at their point of entry into The Bahamas that the vessel’s travel to The Bahamas was a direct one with no prior stops to any other ports of call....
Recommended Quick Turn Around COVID-19 RT-PCR Test Sites and Providers – see list:
Select individuals are exempt from RT-PCR testing
Children age ten (10) or under. Parent or guardian must provide proof of testing restriction upon arrival.
Commercial and private pilots who stay one night.
Failure to comply with the test requirements and heath form submission will result in denied entry.
For the duration of the visit, travellers must complete a daily online health questionnaire for symptom tracking purposes.
There are no restrictions for inter-island travel within The Bahamas. Domestic travel needs to be logged in at https://travel.gov.bs.
Please visit Know Before You Go section of the Bahamas.com website for an island by island up-to-date details on curfews and regulations – https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening.
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 email@example.com prior to entering the country or if moving to another island.
Important Information for all Travelers
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.
For more information from the Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. visit www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening.