Bahamas Reverses Ban on American Travelers but There Are Strict Precautions in Place

Travelers will be required to quarantine in a government-specified facility at their own expense.

aerial view of a port city
Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty

The Bahamas will once again allow American travelers to come to the islands, but will require all visitors to quarantine for two weeks at their own expense, the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation confirmed to Travel + Leisure on Wednesday.

The new protocols come days after the country's prime minister banned visitors amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States and has implemented strict rules for both locals and tourists.

Now, travelers will be tested after completing the quarantine in a government-specified facility, according to the ministry. All travel in or out of Grand Bahama, which has been placed under a lockdown, is prohibited.

Travelers over 10 years old who do come to the islands still have to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 10 days of their arrival and complete a Bahamas Health Visa application before their departure.

The Bahamas have seen a spike in cases as the islands reopened to tourism, including registering more than two dozen new cases in just two weeks on Grand Bahama after it was COVID-19-free for just over two months.

As a result, the Bahamas have implemented new nationwide restrictions, including weekend lockdowns, the closure of public and private beaches, and the closure of indoor and outdoor dining in non-hotel restaurants. There is also a curfew in place from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

All inter-island travel has also been discontinued, according to the ministry.

“We are in a marathon not a sprint… Like other nations that responded well at the outset of the pandemic, the Bahamas is working through the same balancing act,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has said in a statement. “We are trying to get Bahamians back to work and to promote economic activity, while also limiting the spread of the virus.”

The Caribbean nation started opening up to tourism, first welcoming yachts and private planes on June 15, followed by commercial airlines on July 1.

In total, the Bahamas has reported 342 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health. That is a significant increase from just over a week ago when the country had reported 153 confirmed cases.

While international travel is difficult right now, there are several countries that continue to welcome American visitors this summer, including in the Caribbean.

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