Bahamas Postpone Welcoming Americans

The Bahamas will continue their ban on American travelers amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States.

The Caribbean nation started opening up to tourism be welcoming yachts and private planes on June 15, followed by commercial airlines on July 1. On July 22, commercial flights and vessels from Canada, the UK, and the European Union will be welcomed, but US travelers will need to wait longer.

“While there are countries that continue to make progress, such progress can be reversed because of what is happening in neighboring and other countries,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a statement. “We are in a marathon, not a sprint… Like other nations that responded well at the outset of the pandemic, the Bahamas is working through the same balancing act. We are trying to get Bahamians back to work and to promote economic activity, while also limiting the spread of the virus.”

In addition, Bahamasair will cease outgoing flights to the United States effective immediately. Private international flights and yachts from the U.S., however, will continue to be allowed, but all visitors will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no later than 10 days before traveling.
The Bahamas are not immune to the outbreak, having seen a spike in cases as the islands reopened to tourism, This includes 31 new cases in two weeks on Grand Bahama after being COVID-19-free for just over two months. A nightly curfew has been implemented for that island.

“I understand the frustration and the disappointment of many Bahamians and residents that may ensue as we re-implement certain restrictions. But as a country we have to do what is right and necessary,” Minnis said. “If we do not take these measures now, we will pay a higher and deadlier price later.”

In total, the Bahamas has reported 153 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Minnis noted, 49 of which have been recorded since the borders reopened on July 1.

Not all of the Caribbean is closed to US residents. Islands are handling their restrictions on an individual basis. AAA members are invited to participate in our upcoming deep dive into travel options to the Caribbean. Learn about our favorite Caribbean islands, such as Aruba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas as we welcome representatives for each island to our one-hour broadcast highlighting why these island treasures are a great place to plan your NEXT great adventure.