The Bahamas has become one of the latest destinations around the world to drop its Covid-19 testing requirements for travelers who are fully vaccinated against the virus. The Caribbean tourist hotspot, famed and adored the world over for its pristine, palm lined white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, made the announcement during the week, and will be hoping that the easier entry requirements will lead to a surge in the number of travelers heading there over the summer.
The move will be warmly welcomed by travelers and businesses on the islands alike, with The Bahamas previously being one of the few Caribbean islands to still have such strict entry requirements in place and suffering as a result of it. Here’s a look at what exactly is set to change regarding entry requirements in The Bahamas, and which travelers are affected by the country’s latest changes.
Bahamas Travel Made Easier – Information For Travelers
For decades now, The Bahamas have been the byword for the perfect Caribbean getaway. Featured on the front covers of travel guides and magazines the world over, the 700 plus islands of The Bahamas have welcomed tourists in great numbers, with more than 7 million taking the trip back in 2019. Whilst the pandemic and the restrictions that came with it have seen travel figures shrink, recent changes by the country could see that change this summer.
Last week, the government of The Bahamas revealed that they would no longer be requiring fully vaccinated foreign travelers to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test result to enter the country – making vacations to the country much easier and much more attractive for millions of travelers. The change of policy went live just yesterday, meaning travelers can now benefit from the change of restrictions and will only have to show proof of vaccination prior to boarding their flights to the country.
For unvaccinated travelers, there are still some hoops that need to be jumped through in order to be able to enter the country. Unvaccinated travelers aged 2 and above will be required to obtain a negative Covid-19 test result and present it check-in before being able to travel to The Bahamas. Travelers may use either a negative RT-PCR test or a Rapid Antigen test, but it must be taken within 72 of travel to be valid.
Thankfully, there are some exceptions to the rules that will be welcome by travelers with families. Children under the age of 2 are exempt from any testing requirements and can enter freely without needing a test. Travelers will also be glad to hear that the requirement to take a Covid-19 test in order to take part in inter-island travel has also been scrapped, with travelers now able to travel freely between the country’s 700+ islands and 2000+ beaches without taking a test beforehand – regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status.
The removal of the testing requirement for vaccinated travelers isn’t the only change The Bahamas made to streamline entry for travelers. The government also removed the requirement for travelers to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa in order to enter the country – saving prospective travelers time, effort and money. This change applies to all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, and is effective now.
Speaking about his country’s changes, Chester Cooper,the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation in The Bahamas, said:
“The Bahamas is adapting to the continued evolution of this pandemic. We want to streamline the entry process for travelers as much as possible, all while ensuring we are protecting public health. We hope the changes to the pre-travel testing requirements combined with the elimination of the Travel Health Visa will reduce friction for travelers and further the recovery of our tourism sector.”
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com