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New Bahamas Rules Nov 1

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by olderboater, Nov 1, 2020.

  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    These are now in effect.

    A COVID-19 PCR test within 5 days of travel

    A Bahamas Health Travel Visa, which can be completed online at travel.gov.bs (click on the International Tab)

    A rapid antigen test for those visitors staying longer than four nights
    The 14-day “vacation in place” quarantine will no longer be required, and neither is the rapid test upon arrival.

    The Health Travel Visa now includes a fee of $40 (up to four nights) or $60 (more than four nights).

    All islands in the Bahamas require the wearing of masks and appropriate social distancing in public places.

    Please limit discussion to the rules and not the reasons or the politics.
  2. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    This is from a friend who checked in today. There are a couple of small tidbits of procedural info to add to OBs post:
    As it stands today, you must have an Rt-PCR nasal swab test that goes to a lab where an 8 hr culture is grown.
    The results required must be generated from a lab.
    You then go to
    Travel.gov.bs/international
    To begin the process. Each traveller must create an account with a unique email address.
    Once your account is created you can apply for the visa. You'll need to upload a copy of the lab generated results and a copy of the information page of your passport.
    Then you will await a response to say that you have been approved. This will be delivered via your account page, bot an email. You have to check your account for approval. At that point it will say pay now on your account page. Click that and it will transfer you to a kandoo merchant page where you enter credit card info, it's $60.
    Once you have paid successfully you will then be notified by email that you have been approved. That email is what you need to print and bring with you, along with your covid test results.
    Upon arrival immigration will want to see your test results and temailed travel visa. They don't have any scanners or means to check so have those two items with you!
  3. Alzira II

    Alzira II Member

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    Thanks Ken, planning a trip in mid January. Any word on the restaurants and stuff ? Wondering if it’s like the US where with some distancing and masks we can still eat out, maybe sit at a bar.
  4. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I don't have any specific intel, but know that the bars and restaurants are open at individual resorts. I'll be making a couple of trips over before January so will report back... assuming this thread can stay on topic and remain unlocked!
  5. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I've been in The Bahamas for a week, and have to say that I'm impressed with how they are implementing the COVID entry rules. Here's the timeline:
    1- within 5-days prior to arrival, you must take a PCR test (children younger than 10 do not need a test)
    2- Create an account at travel.gov.bs (each individual must have their own account with a unique email address, but children can go on their parent's account)
    3- Upload your PCR test and add your trip details in order to apply for a Travel Health Visa
    4- Wait for approval (usually within a few hours)
    5- Pay and then print your visa
    6- Present visa upon arrival
    7- Fill out the daily health survey that is emailed to you (6 questions, 30 seconds)
    8- Show up to an approved location on your 5th day in The Bahamas for a rapid antigen test
    9-Enjoy the rest of your stay

    AlziraII- most restaurants and such are open. Masks are mandatory. It's much like Florida, but not as COVIDY
  6. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Oh- you must also apply for domestic travel visas to cruise between islands. This is done using the "Domestic" tab on the same site, and are issued immediately. The primary purpose of these is for contact tracing.
  7. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Thank you for keeping this current, Ken.
  8. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    Thanks Ken, we're scheduled for arrival on 12/27. I will say it's a little stressful, getting the tests and all the paperwork in hand, with Christmas in the middle. Hopefully, we'll be there this time next week.
    Crossing my fingers
    Cheers
  9. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I've been assured they are working to process visas over the holidays. Also, Iv'e been told that for yachts there is a little leeway on the 5-days. So if you get it and turn up a day or two late, they'll allow it. If you go to Bay St Marina, the owner there is very involved in advising the government and can help if you have any trouble.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We're planning to go in January as we feel the Bahamas have their act together so much better than others and it's the safest place we can cruise.
  11. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I agree with that
  12. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Did the test on Friday, results this morning, got the visa within two hours. No problems.

    cuba? Having to ask permission to anchor out somewhere and having to clear in and out of every harbor? I ll pass. I visited east Berlin and then- Czechoslovakia in the late 70s... that was enough commie dictatorship for a lifetime.
  13. FlyingGolfer

    FlyingGolfer Member

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    Curious why, as the virus is worldwide, are these precautions necessary. Maybe old and sick people should protect themselves while the rest of us live life and work and keep our business operating.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    On topic, if the Bahamas weren't taking the precautions they are and have, then I would not be considering cruising there. It's not a matter of protecting against the pandemic or protecting the economy. They must come together, and you must insure people can come safely and do things safely, before your economy has a chance.

    We do intend to cruise to the Bahamas, but only because of what they've done and the precautions they have in place.
  15. FlyingGolfer

    FlyingGolfer Member

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    Fair enough. My point was, and probably poorly expressed, is why do we quarantine between countries when the virus already is everywhere. Good luck to us all during these dreadful times.
  16. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    One problem is that all viruses mutate continuously, and there are different successful strains in other parts of the world. South Africa, for example, has a strain that affects younger people disproportionately.
  17. FlyingGolfer

    FlyingGolfer Member

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    I guessed there was a good reason. Thanks. I just hope the cure is not worse than the disease. Starvation in poor countries, etc.
  18. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Well, another obvious one is that sick folks entering a community without the medical care of wealthier or more developed locations can and will wreak havoc on the population. The Bahamas would be devastated by a plague.

    I once fell and cut my head open on a rock in the islands. I was taken to the "emergency room" and stitched up. I was handed a mirror to show me their handiwork. The mirror was from a car door. The emergency room was the preacher's office at his church.
  19. Caboman

    Caboman New Member

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    Any advice on pets? We have a cat. Is the process unchanged?
  20. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    I figured I should give an update for our trip to Bahamas over New Years.

    We got the Covid PCR test on 12/22/20, as did the family we were traveling with. Our results took 24 hours to receive, my friend is a Doctor so he got his results the same day. He filled out he paperwork online (12/22) and got approval instantaneous.

    Unfortunately, our 'delay' in put us in maximum request timeframe. I submitted the paperwork the morning of 12/23; but didn't get any approvals until Christmas Day (received 3 out of 5). A little stress, but the other 2 came in on 12/26.

    Step 1 Complete.

    We flew into Nassau, docked at Atlantis. I think they must be at 15% occupancy, several towers are shutdown. Walking the grounds was like a ghost town, casino had about 20 tables working. Felt safe the entire time. We walked up to Nobu and ask about a table for 9. They said we can seat you now. Ha Ha, Strange times, usually its a several hour wait and getting a table for 9 is next to impossible the same day.

    The Exumas was packed with boats. I think more than usual.

    On New Years Eve, we went to Staniel Cay for the 5 day Covid Test. A little stressful, crossing my fingers that 14 people all pass the test. But, all Negative.

    Disturbing News. We were docked in Compass Cay. Rumor was a boat at the marina had tested positive. Apparently, after hours crew was hanging out & drinking, and it slipped out the Captain & Owner had tested POSITIVE. However, they the entire boat (Captain, Owner, Guests) had been seen walking the dock as usual, completely ignoring the quarantine. Needless to say, they were kicked out as soon as this became "public". Very Frustrated at that boat. I'll always remember its name... Grrr....

    Worse News, upon returning state side. My wife tested Positive for Covid, as well as my friend. Everyone else, so far, is Negative. But, I'm locked up for 14 days. Wife is doing fine, sort of like a bad cold with loss of taste & smell. My friend, he is totally asymptomatic. But, I will say he did get the Covid vaccine upon returning home. Not sure if that helped or not.

    The million dollar question, that we'll never know. Is how did 2 people out of 14 get it. We all did the exact same thing. We flew private, we did eat at Staniel YC before testing, walked Atlantis, ate at Nobu. I wish I could blame on the idiots at Compass Cay, but of course... it's impossible to know.

    As for Bahamas response and safety. I think they are doing an excellent job. We will be returning in February.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021