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New Bahamas Rules Nov 1

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

  1. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    We were there around the same time. We left on the 23rd after getting test results within 24 hours and health visa in an hour or so. One of my crew tested inconclusive so we had to replace him at the last minute. We cleared in Chub in the morning of the 24th and headed straight to Staniel, anchored out

    indeed a lot of boats in the Exumas but probably 75% power, including many over 100/120’. That tells me a lot of boats didn’t go to the Caribbean this year.

    then when we arrived I got a call from from our charter guests (repeats we ve had for 10 years) that even though they were all negative a few days before and had they re visas, the husband and one son had suddenly developed symptoms and retested positive. Turned out their symptoms were mild but then the wife got it too with slightly worst symptoms

    So charter postponed to March... luckily we were able to get a last minute booking Starting dec 30. Guests arrived without issues... we did our 5 day test in Staniel on the 29, all good, guests did theirs on the 4th all negative too

    The vast majority of people who get the red flu are either asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms... that s what happened to both of us early last year and to just about everybody I know.

    we returned to Miami a week ago or so after ending the charter in Nassau. Nassau was ghost town... no cruise ships, no tour boats in the harbor. Didnt go the pink stucco monstruosity (hate that place... especially over priced over rated nobu). Just dropped the guests at Bay Street (bear marina in NAS in my opinion) and refueled next door at Harbor Cemtral.

    I think the Bahamas has found the right balance with their procedures. It s working pretty well yet allows part of the economy to survive. The 5 day testing window is a bit tight but most labs now provide results in 24-36 hours

    we ve got a bunch of bookings for March April, hoping everything stays the same.
  2. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    So, you're saying $34 for Chicken Teriyaki is over-priced. :).

    I agree, I think they've done a great job. There is a few hoops to jump through, but they are all straight forward and relatively easy. I think the "stress" & "fear" is the worse part. Just worrying about 14 people all passing all the tests, and the fear if someone fails. What happens then.

    Several of my family members say it's just too much hassle for them. I tried to explain, it's a little bit of a hassle. But, it's the world we live in today. I choose to grin & bare it.

    As for Charters, I'm new to this. We ran our boat as strictly private up to this point. So, I'm a complete newbie. But, I will say. Our interest has been amazing. We're only looking for about 4 to 6 charters. And at this point, it's not going to be an issue at all.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Prayers for your wife's speedy recovery. Unfortunately you're all still within the window from the initial infection (2 weeks) and you'll be in another window from your wife's infection. So be careful.
  4. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    Thanks, I am. I've cleaned my closet, the basement, and watched all of NetFlix. Arg!
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    LOL:D
  6. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I'm finishing up 5-weeks of back to back to back trips, and know exactly what you mean. We've pulled them all off without any positive tests.
    FYI- we're doing our own 5-day test aboard. I ordered a couple boxes when they were plentiful, and the've lasted us the whole time. Email test results for clearance.
    Once again- kudos to The Bahamas.
  7. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    A bit of an answer on why 2 of 14. Many exposed, 2 get it, initially asymptomatic, By the time they were most likely to spread it, they retested and were positive. The group split up. Had you remained together the number would have risen quickly.

    The NBA is a good example. They avoided it 100% when they played in a bubble. However, now they're having challenges. Typically it's a couple of players. The problem is the contact they've had with other players. So one tests positive and 3 quarantine and then 1 of those 3 is positive and another is positive who wasn't 1 of the 3. A team may end up with 2 positives but 5 quarantined.

    It's a matter of proximity and of time impacting your odds. You might get it from someone you just pass by but far more likely to get it to someone you're close to for several minutes. Then three people with the same exposure will not all have the same results.

    Also be aware if you feel any symptoms you should retest. Typically you can't really feel safe until you have two negatives, 24 hours apart, and 4 to 5 days after going into quarantine.
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We're leaving on the 23rd for three weeks in the Bahamas. Our first real cruise since the pandemic started. Tests before we leave and then carrying our own tests with us as you did. Our total testing so far is over 40,000 at a cost of over $3 million. That's not counting our schools with have tested over 20,000 but paid for by a government grant.

    Sadly we won't do their economy a lot of good since on this trip we're staying mostly on the water. We will spend a little time at marinas or on shore but minimal. We have a second trip planned about three weeks later with a different plan.
  9. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    We are planning on a trip to Bimini on 2/5/21. As per previous messages, my wife contracted COVID-19 upon our last trip to Bahamas, and tested POSITIVE on 1/9/21. She's fully recovered, thou her taste & smell is still recovering.

    From my Captain & my research, you can get a Health Visa Waiver from the health minister if you've recovered from COVID.

    So, I emailed them the "POSITIVE" test from 1/9/21, Doctor's "Clearance" Letter , and a "release from lockdown" letter from our local government. But, was unfortunately they denied our request.

    This is when things got a confusing. The test on 1/9/21 was a Rapid Test (she took another on 1/10/21 which was positive as well). However, both were NOT PCR tests as Bahamas require. Thus, the waiver was denied.

    According to CDC guidelines she's really not required to test, not to mention wasting avoid 'wasting' money on a PCR test, that most likely she'd fail. But, since I'm always for Plan A & Plan B. Plan A = Waiver, Plan B = Cross our fingers she does test NEGATIVE. She got a PCR test this morning with the rest of us. :(

    So, after going back and forth this the Health Ministry. They are requiring the PCR Test today and if it's POSITIVE, they'll process the waiver with the doctor's letter. Of course, seeing is believing. At this point, I'm not exactly sure.

    If she's NEGATIVE. That's good, I guess. We can go. But, a little worried about the Rapid test 5 days later.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm very pleased with Bahamas trying to be accommodating. But, it's a very confusing process.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Typical procedure is to follow up any positive rapid test with a PCR test. You know she really had Covid 19 based on other factors but those without symptoms often don't know if they have it or not and the two tests verify. So, not surprised they want a PCR test.

    Now, where they are missing the point is that rapid tests often produce false negatives but when they are positive, are pretty accurate, especially when repeated. So the real reason to insist on PCR is not to trust a rapid negative and that's irrelevant in your wife's case.
  11. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    Understood. Of course, she wouldn’t have taken the test without symptoms, and since everyone else was negative. We didn’t were hopeful for a false positive, and did another test. To our dismay, it was positive as well. And of course, the loss of smell and taste confirmed everything.

    All I can think of is the process for Bahamas is designed to start off with a PCR test. Thus, while I could argue until I’m blue in the face. It’s not needed, in our particular case. The procedure is the procedure.

    Doesn’t really matter, we all got PCR tests today and are awaiting our results. All good. Thread is mostly to help others to know what to do, verses the ‘hours’ of research we’ve done. Hopefully, it helps someone in the future
  12. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    Good News. Got the PCR Tests, Wife was POSITIVE (as expected). Resent eMail including this PCR result last night 930pm CST. Received Health Waiver before 11pm CST. Very impressive, a government worker working that late at night. Pretty sure that would not happen in the US.

    One side note, they only charged my wife $40 for Health Visa verse typical $60. Probably because she doesn't require the Rapid Test. Correction. The VISA the provide for $40 was for only a day. I had to extend it for 9 days. Another $30. Not a big deal

    Overall, I'm very impressed with their entire system. The Health Portal is very well done, payment is easy, and the people are helpful. Bahamas is really trying to keep things safe, yet accessible. Hat's off to the Bahamas!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  13. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Good to hear. Yes the Bahamas has done a great job with their reopening efforts. They must have realized that they couldn’t afford to remain shut down and closed forever.

    we went late December and the process was pretty simple and painless
  14. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I agree 100%
  15. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    FYI, They changed the rules on customs. You need to also present your Covid Results in addition to the Health Visa. This is different than in December. Make sure you print them , and bring them with you to speed the process up
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    That’s always been the case since the health visa was implemented. Most customs officers don’t look at the results but need to have them
  17. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    Hmm. I guess we got lucky over New Years
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    To sit in 1 of the 50 file folder boxes they have stacked up in their office that nobody will ever look at again!
  19. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Lol. Actually they didn’t keep the test result and health visa. But need to have a printed copy. That was at chub on dec 24
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Currently in Nassau for a few days to renew our charter license. Since I was here more than 24 hours I have to get a new health visa and new PCR test to head out to the Exumas.

    just did the test this morning I used Premier Clinical lab here in Nassau (121 Collins Ave). For an additional $50 a medical tech came to the boat for the test, she did my 5 day rapid test as well. Very nice and very gentle... should have the result by tonight.

    before leaving Miami I did the PCR test using curative labs. They do an oral PCR (no nose poking) with 24 hours results and many locations, no lines. Health visa to come in took a couple of hours.