Sunday 20 September, 2020

Yachters, private aircraft allowed back to The Bahamas next week

Photo by Marcin Ciszewski on Unsplash

Photo by Marcin Ciszewski on Unsplash

More than two months after closing their borders, The Bahamas will begin Phase 1 of the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan on Monday, June 15.

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This phase welcomes international boaters, yachters and private aviation back to Bahamian shores, across all The Islands Of The Bahamas.

During Phase 1, hotels will also reopen for staff to return to work and put in place all the measures required to ensure they are ready to welcome guests at the onset of Phase 2.

Commercial airlines will also be allowed to bring in Bahamian citizens, legal residents, homeowners qualifying for economic permanent residency, or the immediate family members or significant others of any of these groups. It is anticipated that during this period of time there will be a reduced flight schedule as airlines begin adding The Bahamas to their schedules once again.

A release from the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation said this is the first part of the strategic, phased reopening approach for the tourism sector that ensures critical health and safety protocols are being adhered to.

The plan was constructed by The Bahamas Tourism Readiness and Recovery Committee, a group comprising public and private sector partners.

The second phase will commence on July 1 with the resumption of international commercial travel.

Guidelines, Policies and Procedures for International boaters, yachters and private aviation visiting The Bahamas between June 15 – June 30 are, as follows:

  • A COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test is required and must be presented upon arrival. Results must be no more than ten (10) days old.
    • Children under the age of two are not required to take a test.
    • Private pilots who do not deplane are not required to take a test. 
  • All travellers – both domestic and international – are required to complete an Electronic Health Declaration Form at travel.gov.bs prior to departure and for any inter-island travel within The Bahamas. An automated response will be provided upon completion, and it is essential that travellers present proof of confirmation upon arrival in their destination This is an important step for contact tracing purposes.
  • No quarantine will be required upon arrival (if all steps are met).
  • Failure to comply with the test requirements and heath form submission will result in denied entry.
  • Boaters must inform the marina at least 48 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival.

Per the direction of The Bahamas Ministry of Health, Bahamian citizens, residents and homeowners returning from CARICOM countries are not required to present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test upon arrival. However, they remain subject to other public health measures.

According to the US Embassy in The Bahamas and Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that on March 27, the Bahamian government expanded its border closure due to COVID-19 to include all incoming individuals, not just foreign visitors. No person, whether Bahamian citizen, legal permanent resident, or foreign visitor will be permitted entry into The Bahamas. 

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