From January 7, fully vaccinated travelers to The Bahamas won’t be required to show a negative PCR test for entry. Instead, a rapid antigen (or a PCR test) will be accepted as the pre-departure test.
Officials in the Caribbean nation updated the entry guidance this week, just as the testing requirement has scheduled to take effect on January 7.
On top of updating the pre-departure testing requirements, all arrivals staying in The Bahamas for more than 48 hours will now be required to take a rapid antigen test. This rule applies to all travelers, regardless of vaccination status.
Full Testing Requirements For The Bahamas From January 7
Here are the latest testing and entry requirements for travel to The Bahamas:
- All those traveling from international destinations must present a negative Covid test taken no later than 72 hours from arrival to The Bahamas. Travelers with Covid tests that are older than 72 hours won’t be allowed entry into The Bahamas.
- Accepted Covid-19 vaccinations by The Bahamas include: AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria/Covishield), Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTec, Moderna, Sinopharm, Covaxin or Sinov
- Persons between the ages of 2-11 as well as fully vaccinated travelers can show either a rapid antigen OR a RT-PCR test.
- All unvaccinated travelers 12 years and older must show a RT-PCR test for travel. All accepted molecular tests include NAAT, PCR, RNA, RT-PCR and TMA)
- All visitors, vaccinated or not, who are remaining in The Bahamas for over 48 hours (two nights) will have to take a rapid antigen test. This doesn’t apply to anyone staying 48 hours or less.
- This testing requirement replaces the Day 5 rapid antigen test.
- The rapid antigen test results will come within one hour and results will be sent by text message or email.
- The cost of the rapid antigen test is pre-paid with the Bahamas Travel Health Visa fee prior to departure.
- Testing requirements don’t apply to children under the age of two.
See the list of all approved testing sites on the islands here.
Bahamas Travel Visa Health Application – Information For Travelers
All visitors ages 18 and over to The Bahamas need to fill out the official Bahamas Travel Visa Health application prior to departure in order to be approved for travel.
The visa will guarantee travelers Covid health insurance that’s required for your trip, which includes coverage for up to 30 days. Travelers 17 and under can add their profile with the application of their parent or guardian and complete an individual application.
The cost of the visa (travel health insurance included) depends on where you’re traveling from, your vaccination status and your planned length of stay in The Bahamas, and the non-refundable fee is between $40-70 USD.
Travelers are warned to not use any third-party vendors for the application. The official site to start the application process is here, and you can also see an updated travel checklist for The Bahamas on the site. Start the application early, as processing time is about 48 hours.
Local Restrictions For Travelers To The Bahamas
Travelers are encouraged to check the “Know Before You Go” Interactive Island Guide section on the Bahamas Tourism website so you can see the status of your island destination. Click here and scroll down to the map of The Bahamas.
Indoor and outdoor dining is open on most islands. As for health measures throughout The Bahamas, face masks must be worn at all times while traveling in a taxi or bus, at all stages of the airport, when entering and transferring sea terminals, standing in line and entering and exiting any establishment like a hotel or restaurant as well as during your hotel check-in.
Social distancing is mandatory on the beaches, but face masks are not required to be worn on the beach. Masks are required while entering/exiting the beach and in any outdoor public spaces surrounding the beach areas.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com