The Bahamas COVID Travel Restrictions Explained Ahead of the Holiday Season

The Bahamas is one of the top destinations for American travelers over the holiday season, who are lured to the Atlantic archipelago—made up of more than 700 islands and 2,400 cays—by crystal clear waters and stunning natural beauty.

Like the rest of the world, the Bahamas has been affected by the COVID pandemic and the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory for the country, indicting that Americans should reconsider travel there due to COVID.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued a Level 3 notice, indicting a "high level" of COVID in the Bahamas. The agency recommends getting fully vaccinated before traveling to the country and urges Americans to avoid non-essential travel there.

If you decide you would still like to visit the Bahamas this holiday season, it is important to know that the Bahamian government has implemented certain travel restrictions to minimize the spread of COVID.

Currently, U.S. citizens are permitted to enter the Bahamas, but must adhere to testing protocols that differ depending on an individual's vaccination status.

Fully vaccinated travelers are required to obtain a negative COVID test (either a rapid antigen test or a PCR) taken no more than five days prior to the date of arrival to the Bahamas.

Fully vaccinated individuals who want to move between islands in the Bahamas will also need a negative rapid antigen test result taken no more than five days before the date of travel.

All children aged between 2 and 11 years old are required to obtain a negative COVID test (either a rapid antigen or PCR) taken no more than five days prior to the date of arrival to the Bahamas.

Children under the age of 2 years are exempt from testing requirements.

Unvaccinated travelers who are aged 12 and older will need a negative PCR test result obtained no more than five days prior to the date of arrival in The Bahamas.

Unvaccinated people traveling inter-island within the Bahamas from the capital Nassau, Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island are required to obtain a negative PCR test taken no more than five days prior to the date of travel and present it to the operator of the airline or vessel on which they are traveling.

Unvaccinated people traveling inter-island from any other location in the country aside from those listed above will only require a negative result from a rapid antigen test.

Aside from these testing requirements, all travelers to the Bahamas will need to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa at travel.gov.bs. People aged over 18 are required to complete an individual application, while those aged 17 and under can be added to the application of their parent or guardian.

All travelers will also be required to opt in to COVID health insurance that will cover them for the duration of their stay in the Bahamas. The cost of this insurance is included in the application fee for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa.

The Bahamas
Stock image showing Exuma, a district of The Bahamas. The country has implemented certain restrictions for travelers to limit the spread of COVID. iStock