Linda Hohnholz, eTN ed: In a continued effort to ensure the safety for all in The Bahamas during the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis issued updated measures and protocols for New Providence, Grand Bahama Island and various Family Islands.
Based on new data presented by the Ministry of Health, the recent Emergency Order lockdown placed on New Providence will be lifted beginning 5 a.m., Monday, August 31. Businesses in New Providence will be allowed to resume with appropriate physical distancing measures including but not limited to:
Outdoor dining, curbside and delivery service at restaurants and retailers
From 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily, beaches will be open to the public
Please visit opm.gov.bs for full details related to the restriction lift as well as a reminder of the current lockdown measures.
Grand Bahama & Various Family Islands
The following emergency order provisions have been put into place for Grand Bahama and various Family Islands including Andros, Crooked Island, Acklins, Eleuthera, Cat Island, Exuma, Bimini, the Berry Islands, Mayaguana, Inagua and Abaco:
A mandatory curfew is in place from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. daily. Residents are not permitted to leave their homes during this period, except to seek urgent medical care at a hospital.
Hotel facilities and services, including indoor/outdoor dining, casinos, gyms and spas are prohibited.
All business and commercial activity will be closed and employees required to work remotely, with the exception of essential businesses including grocery stores, pharmacies, water depots, gas stations and hardware stores. These businesses are permitted to operate between the hours of 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Commercial banks and credit unions may also open Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Businesses that can provide curbside, online or delivery services can operate, including retail. Restaurants can open with outdoor dining, takeout, delivery and drive-through services, except for Fish Fry restaurants.
Family Islands such as Chub Cay, Long Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay, Ragged Island, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells and San Salvador will continue with no curfew, but must abide by physical distancing and sanitation protocols.
Please visit opm.gov.bs for full details related to the emergency order.
Implications for Travellers:
While The Bahamas is looking forward to safely welcoming visitors to its shores, the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors remain of upmost importance. All travellers to The Bahamas will be required to adhere to all protocols and restrictions provided.
Requirements for entering The Bahamas include:
Effective Tuesday, September 1, all incoming visitors, as well as returning citizens and residents, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test, taken no more than five (5) days prior to the date of arrival. All test results must be uploaded when applying for a Bahamas Health Visa.
o The only applicants who are not required to provide a COVID-19 test are:
– Children under the age of ten (10)
– Pilots and crew who remain overnight in The Bahamas
All visitors and returning residents are required to quarantine for 14-days upon arrival into The Bahamas.
o Travellers are permitted to quarantine at a hotel, private club or rented accommodations (like Airbnb), as well as on a private boat.
o Hotel guests are permitted to access all available amenities on property.
o All persons must submit to monitoring and install the Hubbcat App on their cellular phones for purposes of contact tracing.
o After the 14 days, all persons intending to remain in the country may be required to complete another COVID-19 test, at their own expense, to exit quarantine.
Full details on entry protocols to The Bahamas can be found on bahamas.com/travelupdates.
For additional details and the Prime Minister’s recent remarks and statements, please visit opm.gov.bs.
The Bahamas has remained diligent in efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 throughout the islands, and these measures are imperative to ensure that remains the case. Due to fluidity of the COVID-19 situation both in The Bahamas and worldwide, protocols are subject to change. The health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors remain the number one priority, and public health officials are closely monitoring indicators to determine whether more or less stringent measures will be required going forward.