What You Need To Know About Traveling To the Bahamas This Summer
Back in the Bahamas
The Bahamas continues to be one of the most highly sought-after international destinations for Americans ahead of summer 2021 as it offers travelers an affordable escape to paradise that requires brief travel time, especially for those visiting from the East Coast. The Bahamas is open to international travel and has been for some time. Fully vaccinated travelers will have a much easier time visiting this summer, but regardless of your vaccination status, here are some important things to know before you go.
Latest Travel and Health Advisories
The Bahamas is among the many destinations to receive a Level 4 travel advisory (do not travel) from the U.S. State Department due to COVID-19 this spring. The advisory is matched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the Bahamas due to COVID-19. The CDC warns of a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. As of May 14, the country has reported approximately 11,000 COVID-19 cases and 216 deaths.
As mentioned earlier, visiting the Bahamas will be much easier if you've been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as the country is no longer requiring vaccinated visitors to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test result ahead of departure or submit to rapid testing during their stay. Travelers who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after the final dose) also won't need to complete a daily health questionnaire but will still need to apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa and upload their proof of vaccination with their application. Meanwhile, unvaccinated visitors over the age of 10 are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than five days prior to arrival as well as apply for the aforementioned Bahamas Travel Health Visa. Unvaccinated travelers staying in the country for an extended period should also expect to undergo rapid COVID-19 antigen testing on day five.
How To Travel
The CDC has updated its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals traveling internationally, confirming that they are less likely to both get and spread COVID-19. The agency says that vaccinated individuals do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless required by their destination, nor do they need to self-quarantine after returning home to the U.S. Nonetheless, during travel these individuals should continue to wear a mask, avoid crowds and wash or sanitize their hands frequently. The CDC also recommends getting tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel and self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms.
Visitors to the Bahamas should anticipate some restrictions and curfews in some cases but few protocols that will negatively impact their experience in the islands. Travelers are encouraged to check the status of their island ahead of time but, for the most part, beaches, restaurants and many other attractions throughout the country are operating normally with precautions in place such as face masks and social distancing.
Talk To a Travel Advisor
The value of working with an experienced travel advisor can't be measured, especially when traveling abroad and at a time when rules and regulations are changing so rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A trusted travel advisor—visit TravelSense.org to find your ideal American Society of Travel Advisors verified professional based on your destination and trip type—will keep your safety and preferences top of mind while helping you save precious time and money in the process. Travel advisors have firsthand experience in your vacation destination as well as valuable client feedback and relationships formed with suppliers that often lead to better deals than you would find browsing countless websites in addition to a personal touch. Unlike a website and confirmation email, travel advisors don't abandon you after you've booked but are there to see you through and to ensure your trip goes as or better than expected.