The tropical archipelago of the Bahamas and the island nation of Barbados in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, have become the latest countries in the Caribbean to ease their Covid-19 entry restrictions for travelers.
The popular destination of the Bahamas – famed for pristine white sand beaches, swimming pigs, and rich history – has made changes to its testing requirements that are bound to make visits to the island a much-more appealing prospect, particularly given the sheer volume of Covid-19 restrictions being eased in other destinations around the world. Along with the Bahamas updating their entry requirements, Barbados has made a similar move with changing their testing requirements and ending all curfews on the island.
We’ll go over the changes to both nations below and how they affect travelers.
The easing of the Bahamas restrictions follows a general trend of entry requirement relaxation throughout the Caribbean, with several of the country’s neighbors also recently making it easier for travelers to enter. Here’s a look at what exactly is set to change for travelers heading to the Caribbean, which entry requirements still remain for those heading to the Bahamas and a recap of the recent entry requirement changes by other nations in the Caribbean.
Bahamas Entry Requirements Updated – What Travelers Should Know
At the turn of the new year, the Bahamas was home to some of the strictest Covid-19 entry requirements in the region. Not only did travelers need to submit proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result in order to be able to gain entry to the country, travelers fortunate enough to visit the archipelago were then subjected to a further test after arriving, on their fifth day in the country, as the country’s government fought to keep its people safe from the virus.
Thankfully, the Bahamas has since changed some of its entry requirements. First to change was the PCR test requirement on January 7th, with travelers now being permitted instead to show a negative Rapid Antigen Test result taken within three days – a cheaper and quicker way for travelers to show their Covid-19 status. The second major change is the removal of the need to test on the fifth day after arrival into the country.
Effective from today, travelers will no longer be required to take a Rapid Antigen Test on their fifth day in the Bahamas, a change that will give travelers more time to enjoy all the country has to offer and less time spent worrying about their test results. The change will apply to all travelers heading to the Bahamas, regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status or country of origin.
The change has been made to reflect the change in the Covid-19 situation around the world, as more and more countries pivot towards a living with Covid-19 approach. Speaking about the change, the Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, Chester Cooper, said:
“It is important to remain fluid and adapt our protocols to reflect a changing environment, and we are pleased to be able to eliminate The Bahamas’ testing requirements”.
Also adapting to the changing environment are several other Caribbean countries who have also made it easier to visit in recent weeks. Aruba, Grenada and the Cayman Islands all recently removed several restrictions, whilst Jamaica too removed the travel authorization and quarantine requirements for those heading to the country.
In order to be able to enter the Bahamas, travelers must:
- Take a test within 72 hours of flying. This can be either a PCR or a Rapid Antigen Test
- Apply for a travel health visa here and upload negative test results. Travelers will also have to opt in for the health insurance, included in the price of the visa
- Wear a face mask on board the flight and be subjected to temperature screening
Barbados Entry Requirements Updated – What Travelers Should Know
When Barbados first reopened for tourism in late 2020, the rules included up to 4 tests, hotel quarantines, curfews, and many other restrictions. Since that time, step-by-step, they have been removing restrictions and loosening requirements.
Now, as of February 26, 2022, the rules to enter Barbados are the easiest they’ve ever been. Here is a recap on what’s changed
- Travelers can now bring a 1-day antigen test instead of an expensive 3-day PCR test for entry
- All curfews have been discontinued on the island
- Passengers in transit through Barbados are not required to show proof of a negative test
Now, for fully vaccinated travelers, entry into Barbados is simplified to taking the 1-day antigen test, submitting the online travel health form, showing proof of vaccination, and leaving the airport.
Unvaccinated travelers are still permitted to enter Barbados but will undergo more steps than vaccinated passengers, including a 5-day hotel quarantine.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com