The popular Caribbean vacation destination of the Bahamas is set to introduce several new restriction changes that travelers should be aware of over the coming days. The move will make the Bahamas – famed for its idyllic beaches and paradisal settings – the latest in what is an ever-growing list of destinations around the world that have tightened their entry restrictions in order to better shield their inhabitants from Covid-19.
Unlike other destinations around the world, the restriction changes that are set to be put into place on the islands are broken down into stages, with some coming into effect on Monday and others following in the New Year – meaning travelers will need to ensure they read the changes carefully in order to avoid disappointment. Here’s everything you need to know about the planned entry restrictions changes for the Bahamas.
Bahamas Changes Entry Restrictions – Information For Travelers
A popular destination for both beach vacation and cruise enthusiasts, the Bahamas is making several changes to its testing requirements for travelers planning on entering the islands in the coming days. The changes are set to affect all incoming travelers, with both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers needing to fulfil the requirements in order to be able to enter.
Travelers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 should be aware that from the 27th December, they will need to provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of the date of their arrival in the country in order to be able to enter. These tests can be either an RT-PCR test or Rapid Antigen Tests, which are also commonly referred to as lateral flow tests or ATK tests by some destinations.
For travelers who are not vaccinated against Covid-19, the rules are a little stricter. From December 27th, unvaccinated travelers will also need to provide evidence of a negative test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. However, for those above the age of 12, this test cannot be a Rapid Antigen test – it must be a Covid-19 RT-PCR (including PCR, NAA, NAAT, TMA or RNA) test result. Children between the ages of 2 and 11 may still use an antigen test as proof – but this too is set to change.
From January 7th, 2022, the Bahamas is changing its testing requirements to prohibit the use of Rapid Antigen Tests for negative test result purposes. The rule change affects both fully vaccinated travelers and unvaccinated travelers, and means that travelers will be forced to use the costlier but more accurate RT-PCR tests to prove that they do not have Covid-19 when they enter the country.
Making the announcement of the changes on Thursday, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas Philip Davis explained that the entry rules must change just as the virus itself has changed. Davis went on:
“Countries around the world are pursuing new strategies to contain the worst impact of the virus. We need to do the same here now. We want to reduce the impact, which unfortunately will be severe, on our clinics and hospitals.”
After several periods without any cases of Covid-19 other the past few months, the past few days have seen sharp spikes in the number of positive cases in the country, with the daily average over the past week currently standing at 58. Around 40% of the country have had one dose of a vaccine, with 38% fully vaccinated.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com