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Pilots should carefully consider any flights to the Bahamas

Tourists must present negative COVID-19 test

Editor's note: This article was updated August 6 after Bahamian officials initiated a two-week national lockdown.

As the number of coronavirus cases in the Bahamas have fluctuated, government officials have opened, closed, restricted, and revised guidelines for travel to the islands multiple times since first opening to general aviation pilots and private boaters on June 15.

Photo by Chris Rose.

On August 4, Bahamas Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced a national lockdown that will last a minimum of two weeks. International travel to the Bahamas during this time remains open.

“While The Bahamas is looking forward to safely welcoming visitors to its shore, the health and well-being of residents and visitors remains of upmost importance. During the national lockdown, The Bahamas remains open to international travel,” the August 4 statement said.

Travelers will be required to comply with the national lockdown. Everyone traveling to the Bahamas must apply for a Bahamas Health Visa, and everyone 10 years and older, except “pilots and crew who remain overnight in the Bahamas,” must present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test that was taken no more than 10 days before arriving on the islands. In addition, visitors must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the Bahamas, which can be done at a hotel, private club or boat, or rented accommodations.

Pilots should carefully consider whether to fly to the Bahamas during the pandemic, particularly now when the nation has experienced “a surge in hospitalizations and demand for ICU beds.”

GA pilots should note that their passengers will be subject to a $9 security fee when departing the Bahamas; pilots and crewmembers are exempt from the fee.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: Travel, Bahamas, Caribbean

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