an aerial view of a blue ocean

Travel isn’t easy for anyone right now, and that’s particularly true for Americans. Just last week, the Bahamas was one of the few international destinations accepting American visitors, but a new covid-19 proclamation from the Bahamian Government will put an end to flights from the US, within a matter of hours. Yep, that trip to the Bahamas is probably now off, and it may be for quite a while.

Bahamas Covid-19 Travel Proclamation

The Bahamas will limit international flights from July 22nd, 2020 onward, until further notice. Notably, all direct flights from the United States to the Bahamas will be suspended. This includes services such as Bahamasair, and all US domestic carriers.

Only flights from the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union will be allowed to land, but at the time of writing it’s unclear whether or not new visitors from these countries will be allowed, or whether the flights will simply ferry current visitors back to their place of origin.

an aerial view of a blue oceanComing by boat? All commercial vessels are banned from transporting passengers, but exceptions have been made for pleasure craft and private yachts. Private jets are also exempt.

All visitors and returning residents – aka everyone – will be required to present a negative covid-19 test, taken within 10 days of arrival, and must also submit a health visa if they wish to avoid quarantine. You can submit your health visa here, at the Bahamian Government Travel website.

The news is in response to “surging” cases, which sparked fear in the Bahamian Government over potential for hospitals and other essential services to become overrun.

a white building with yellow shuttersBahamian Beaches Closed Too

Of the many draws to the Bahamas, beaches are certainly a key feature. In Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’ address, the difficult decision was made to also close beaches both public and private in many main tourist hubs, including: New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and surrounding cays.

This leaves just a few smaller cays, such as those in the Abacos, open to the potential of beach enjoyment, but will leave most travelers with little reason to visit, for the interim. Additionally, Arawak Cay and Potter’s Cay will also see the closure of all restaurants.

Grand Bahama will see even further restrictions, with the closure of all indoor dining, the requirement for masks to be worn in public and more. For most travelers, it may be best to put the Bahamas trip on hold.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. @Phillip – sounds like the experience on the island will be pretty bad and certainly not worth the effort. Personally, I have been to the Bahamas twice (along with the vast majority of other Caribbean islands) and have no desire to go back, even if there was no such thing as COVID.

    Granted I stayed in Nassau area both times (once at Atlantis) but didn’t find the area that inviting. Also, Atlantis (for anyone thinking of going) is incredibly expensive ($15-$20 for a drink and $200-$300 for an “average” meal for a family of 4 at one of their moderately priced restaurants. Then you add in the crowds (the water park sells admission to cruise lines (and I know that isn’t an issue right now) and other hotels) and it isn’t a very good experience.

    Personally I would go to Aruba, St Kitts or Barbados – of all the islands I’ve visited those are the ones that are top of my list.

    1. It seems that you chose Atlantis which is one of the more expensive Resorts on the Island of Nassau.

      It is sad that you choose to use the cost of Atlantis to condemn the Bahamas when you really did not experience the Bahamas.

      I encourage you come and enjoy some of the other beautiful Islands or Cays that we have and then share your experience.

  2. The Bahamas is comprised of over 700 islands and cays. One cannot generalize the entire country based on the experience of visiting just Nassau which is located on New Providence Island. Each island is unique and has different experiences and cost factors. Staying at Atlantis is one of the most expensive resorts in the country.

    The Exumas, Eleuthera, and Long Island, to name a few of the islands are all stunning and laid back. Perfect for boating and exploring gorgeous sand banks and beaches. As with anything do your research and plan accordingly. Of course some things are not for everyone.

    The EU has also placed restrictions on American travelers. Let’s not slander each other’s countries in the face of this insane pandemic. We’re all in this together and are just trying to figure out the safest way forward. Our country cannot support a widespread outbreak. The Bahamas are for those who really appreciate it and love it. To all others; respectfully choose other destinations!! 🇧🇸🇧🇸🇧🇸

  3. @AC If you have only been to Nassau then you have hardly been to the Bahamas. I’m a regular visitor to the Exuma island chain and usually rent a beach house when I go. It’s probably the most stunning place I’ve ever seen and I’ve traveled to many Caribbean countries. The water is out of this world. I have a trip planned for November which I hope will happen.
    @Philip My understanding is they still are excepting visitors from Canada and UK with negative Covid tests

  4. No it is not we have rooms an hotels around the area u choose to go expensive restaurant an bar when u don’t know the ppl an the surrounding u will spend a lot of money out your pocket restaurant do not sell the real Bahamian food drink not everything is high price we a spread goin around in every country all of us are just trying to protect each other that’s all

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