Want to enjoy the sun and sea this 2021? Have a trip to the Bahamas. Besides regular visa requirements or entry, you will also need a Health Visa, easy to obtain. Read our article to know the country’s COVID Updates and if “is it safe to travel to the Bahamas now?”
Located in the South East of Florida, USA is an archipelagic country with more than 700 islands with 16 major ones. It’s a gorgeous tourist destination where you can relax and enjoy the islands’ beauty and the ocean. It has opened its borders as its economy is dependent on tourism. Here’s the situation in case you want to go.
Passengers and airline crew must have an approved “Bahamas Travel Health Visa” with a QR code from Bahamas’ official website. This advisory was from IATA, published December 12, 2020.
Before going to the Bahamas, you must have a Health Visa. Here are the steps to getting one.
STEP 1: Obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (Swab Test) not more than 5 days before arriving in the Bahamas. Have it in soft copy for your application and hard copy for your arrival. Please note that if the results are older than 5 days, you can’t enter the Bahamas.
STEP 2: Go to this website. Click international.
STEP 3: Create an account. Aside from the soft copy of your result, you will also need to upload your Passport Bio-Page.”
STEP 4: Apply for your trip, and don’t forget to upload your result. Please make sure the following are included:
- Name of Applicant (must match the name used on the application form)
- Confirmation of a negative result
- Type of test – RT- PCR (not an antigen test nor an antibody test)
- The date the test was administered (collection date of the swab)
- Name and address of the accredited lab where the test was performed
Beginning November 14, there will be additional insurance that covers COVID-19 for your stay in the Bahamas. It’s included in the travel Health Visa application fee. Total costs will be dependent on how many days you are staying.
- $40 (non-refundable) – Visitors staying up to four (4) nights and five (5) days – Includes the cost of Travel Health Insurance
- $60 (non-refundable) – Visitors staying longer than five (5) nights and six (6) days – Includes the cost of Travel Health Insurance and a day five rapid antigen test
- Free – Children ten (10) years and under (insurance coverage included)
STEP 5: Wait for your Health Visa Application to be processed. It can take up to 24 hours.
STEP 6: Check your status: Green is approved, Yellow needs additional review, while Red is not permitted. You must present your confirmation when you arrive in the Bahamas.
Travel Restrictions for Filipinos
As per DFA, Filipinos are allowed to leave the Philippines to enter the Bahamas. However, it is subject to the following:
- Flight availability and other special arrangements of commercial flights
- Destination country’s medical protocols on arriving and departing international passengers.
Filipinos need a visa to travel to the Bahamas.
How to Fly to the Bahamas from the Philippines
There are no direct flights from the Philippines to the Bahamas. Please note that flight availability is restricted and might change. There are limited flights internationally, too. To go to the Bahamas from the Philippines, you will need to fly.
COVID-19 Cases in the Bahamas
The population of Bahamas is about 393,244 people as per the Worldometers in 2020. As stated on the WHO website, confirmed cases (as of writing) with 7,871 with 170 deaths.
Guidelines for Tourists
- Masks must be worn when traveling public places or entering or exiting restaurants, or beaches (not required on the beach)
- Physical distancing is required.
- Please note that there may be different curfews, protocols, or operating hours per island.
- Check the island destination through this website.
- Travelers staying for longer than 4 nights or 5 days need to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test. Results can be given in less than 60 minutes and be provided through e-mail or SMS text message.
- Failure to abide by rules and regulations may get the tourist a $200 fine or one-month imprisonment.
Warning Level 4, Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19 in the Bahamas
“Travelers should avoid all travel to the Bahamas. If you must travel, talk to your doctor ahead of travel, especially if you are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”
From the US Travel.State.Gov
Level 3, Reconsider Travel
“Reconsider travel to The Bahamas due to health and safety measures and COVID-related conditions. Exercise caution in some areas of The Bahamas due to crime.”
From the UK Government
The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to:
“The whole of Bahamas based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”
In case a person exhibits symptoms, they are required to have a Rapid Antigen Test. If it’s negative, tourists can continue their vacation; if it’s positive, and RT-PCR swab test is required. Further testing or quarantine may be required for those who tested positive.
Emergency Numbers for COVID 19 in the Bahamas
For advice or medical care, you can call 376-9350 (8 AM to 8 PM), 376-9387 (8 PM to 8 AM), and 376-9357.
If you tested positive, you could contact CG Atlantic Medical & Life – 242-326-8191during 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM or 800-423-9130 on weekends or nights. They are the travel insurance company included in the Health Visa.
So Is It Safe To Travel To The Bahamas now?
I can’t give you a correct or wrong answer for that. Bear in mind that there’s already a vaccine available in some countries, and there’s also a new variant of COVID-19. However, the decision of whether your travel plans will push through or be canceled lies with you. I hope this article helps you decide if you want to go to the Bahamas now or later.
About the Writer
Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and I fell in love with the experience. I aim to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.