Updated health safety protocols issued for parts of The Bahamas

i By August 31, 2020 No Comments

Updated health safety protocols and measures announced last week by the Bahamian government include more stringent measures in Grand Bahama and various Family Islands as well as the lifting of the lockdown on New Providence.

The revised measures were announced by the country’s prime minister, The Most Honorable Dr. Hubert Minnis, who emphasized that the health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors remain the number one priority of the government and that public health officials are closely monitoring indicators to determine whether more or less stringent measures will be required going forward.

New Providence lockdown lifted

Based on new data presented by the Ministry of Health, the recent Emergency Order lockdown placed on New Providence will be lifted beginning 5 a.m.Monday, August 31. Businesses in New Providence will be allowed to resume with appropriate physical distancing measures including but not limited to:

  • Outdoor dining, curbside and delivery service at restaurants and retailers
  • From 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily, beaches will be open to the public

Visit opm.bs.gov for full details related to the restriction lift as well as a reminder of the current lockdown measures.

Updated health safety protocols for Grand Bahama and various Family Islands

The following emergency order provisions have been put into place for Grand Bahama and various Family Islands including Andros, Crooked Island, Acklins, Eleuthera, Cat Island, Exuma, Bimini, the Berry Islands, Mayaguana, Inagua and Abaco:

  • A mandatory curfew is in place from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. daily. Residents are not permitted to leave their homes during this period, except to seek urgent medical care at a hospital.
  • Hotel facilities and services, including indoor/outdoor dining, casinos, gyms and spas are prohibited.
  • All business and commercial activity will be closed and employees required to work remotely, with the exception of essential businesses including grocery stores, pharmacies, water depots, gas stations and hardware stores. These businesses are permitted to operate between the hours of 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Commercial banks and credit unions may also open Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Businesses that can provide curbside, online or delivery services can operate, including retail. Restaurants can open with outdoor dining, takeout, delivery and drive-through services, except for Fish Fry restaurants.

Family Islands such as Chub Cay, Long CayLong Island, Rum Cay, Ragged Island, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells and San Salvador will continue with no curfew, but must abide by physical distancing and sanitation protocols.

Visit opm.gov.bs for full details related to the emergency order.

Implications for travellers

All travellers to The Bahamas will be required to adhere to all protocols and restrictions provided.

Requirements for entering The Bahamas include:

  • All travellers must apply for a Bahamas Health Visa at travel.gov.bs by selecting the International option and completing all required fields.
  • Effective Tuesday, September 1, all incoming visitors, as well as returning citizens and residents, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test, taken no more than five (5) days prior to the date of arrival.  All test results must be uploaded when applying for a Bahamas Health Visa.
    • The only applicants who are not required to provide a COVID-19 test are:
      • Children under the age of ten (10)
      • Pilots and crew who remain overnight in The Bahamas
  • All visitors and returning residents are required to quarantine for 14-days upon arrival into The Bahamas.
    • Travellers are permitted to quarantine at a hotel, private club or rented accommodations (like Airbnb), as well as on a private boat.
    • Hotel guests are permitted to access all available amenities on property.
    • All persons must submit to monitoring and install the Hubbcat App on their cellular phones for purposes of contact tracing.
    • 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, to exit quarantine.

Full details on entry protocols to The Bahamas can be found on bahamas.com/travelupdates.