When most people hear the term VIP, they’d like to be included, or at least think it refers to someone who is a “very important person”. When you’re on vacation, it’s nice to be treated as a very important person. “Vacation in place” is a bit of a stretch, though.
The Bahamas has once again reopened borders to all travelers providing a covid-19 test upon arrival, but limitations around the new “VIP” travel plans may keep some visitors away, at least for now.
Quarantine is a word with very few positive connotations, so the Bahamas has used good ole’ turn of phrase to make 14 days of limited movement sound “VIP”. Of course, “VIP” is the acronym being used for current vacation-in-place measures, which requires all visitors to remain in one place for the 14 days of their visit, even those carrying a negative covid-19 test, which is everyone.
The “VIP” rules are an easing of previous restrictions which required quarantine in a government facility, and now allow travelers to effectively spend their time enjoying their private accommodation or hotel, but only the grounds of either.
And yes, the pool, tennis courts and any other private facilities of the hotel, boat, or resort are totally fine.
For the first 14 days of any Bahamas vacation, visitors are not allowed outside of the facilities of their hotel or private residence. If you’re planning a shorter trip, you’re able to leave during the 14 day period, but not to go anywhere else on the islands.
As a destination most travelers use to unwind and disconnect, the Bahamas isn’t a bad place to spend 14 days tucked up in the same spot, and for many vacations, they might do so anyway. There’s just something about needing to download a tracking app that puts a certain vibe on escaping.
The good news, is that the Bahamas has some legitimately VIP beaches, and once you finish your 14 days of quarantine, woops – vacation-in-place – they’ll all be open again, from October 15th.
Restaurants and most businesses in Abaco, Grand Bahama, Acklins, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua and Mayaguana are also reopening from 5AM-10PM. The only things which won’t be open are cinemas, gyms, casinos and bars.
Few travel experiences in 2020 are the same as those prior, but it’s not all bad news. Many destinations which struggled with over tourism are now eager to welcome back visitors with open arms, and the experience can be better than ever, like in Santorini where 10,000 fewer cruise tourists per day means exploring the iconic island without crowds. It may be the same in the Bahamas, but it may not be very “VIP”.