The Bahamas Eliminates PCR Test Requirement for Vaccinated Travelers

Vaccinated travelers can now also take a rapid test ahead of departure.

Fully vaccinated travelers heading to the Bahamas now have a second option for COVID-19 testing before departure.

Initially, a RT-PCR test was going to be mandated for travelers starting Jan. 7, however, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism announced this week that visitors will now have the option to take a rapid test. Either test will have to be taken within 72 hours before departure.

Travelers remaining in the Bahamas for more than 48 hours will also need to take another rapid antigen test on the second day of their trip. Previously, officials were requiring a second test for travelers planning trips of five days or longer as well as a test 72 hours before departure.

For unvaccinated travelers older than 12, an RT-PCR test will be required while children between the ages of two and 11 can provide results from either an RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test. Travelers aged two and younger are exempt from COVID-19 testing.

Bahamas, Eleuthera Island, district of Governor's Harbour (Central Eleuthera).
Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images

In addition to testing, visitors to the Bahamas have to obtain a Travel Health Visa and purchase the accompanying COVID-19 health insurance coverage. The price of the visa varies and depends on the length of a person's visit and their vaccination status.

Applications can take up to 48 hours to process, according to Bahamian government officials, so you'll want to plan accordingly. An updated list of testing sites in the Bahamas is available online.

The Bahamas, a collection of more than 700 idyllic islands and cays spread across 100,000 square miles, is also requiring face masks in most public spaces. Face masks aren't required on the beach, but social distancing is.

Meena Thiruvengadam loves wandering new streets and discovering the world's stories. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, or at the airport, and subscribe to her newsletter.

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