Sunday, May 9

Bahamas Eases COVID Protocols for Boaters

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Here’s some good news finally for anyone thinking about cruising to the Bahamas.

On April 21, the Bahamian government announced new protocols for boaters and Bahamas marinas. The most important one is that starting May 1, anyone traveling to the Bahamas will be exempt from taking a COVID 19 test if they have been fully vaccinated and are past the two-week immunity period. This should make life much easier for anyone cruising to the Bahamas from Florida or anywhere else in the U.S.

In addition, boaters who are already in the Bahamas and have been fully vaccinated will be exempt from the COVID 19 test requirements when they are traveling within the islands. The new announcement says residents and travelers must still adhere to social distancing and mask-wearing protocols, but if they are fully vaccinated they can resume indoor dining.

If you want to cruise to the Bahamas, once you have proof of full vaccination you must apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs and upload the required test.

There is a varying fee structure for the Bahamas Health Travel Visa. It’s $40 for Bahamas citizens, returning residents and North American visitors staying five days or less. It’s $60 if you’re staying more than five nights. Children 10 years old and younger are free. And you’ll have to pay an extra $30 if you’re extending your trip; if your original application was for five days or less, for example, and you want to stay longer.

For boaters, while clearing Customs & Immigration, crew and passengers are required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth. After that, anyone disembarking at a marina or resort after clearing the local port of entry will be subject to additional screening mandated by the Ministry of Health, such as taking their temperature. Face masks also must be worn at all times off the marina or resort grounds.

Finally, boaters are no longer required to notify the Bahamas Maritime Authority if they move to another island. Read more:

https://www.bahamasmarinas.com/procedures-and-protocols

 

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