On the great roller coaster that is 2020, the Bahamas have really gone for a ride. The island nation first reopened to international travelers on July 1, then quickly doubled back and closed up again on July 22, thanks to a spike in coronavirus cases, particularly in the United States.
Now the country is ready to welcome international tourists again, officially opening back up on Oct. 15, 2020. Arriving visitors and residents, however, will need to quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of their trip—whichever is shorter. Travelers are allowed to quarantine at their hotel, resort, or a rental unit, which is why the Bahamas are calling their quarantine "Vacation in Place."
But starting Nov. 1, all travelers will be able to bypass the mandatory quarantine by presenting a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a test taken within the seven days preceding arrival. Travelers will need to upload their results into the Bahamas' online health portal to apply for a health visa (the cost depends on the length of stay).
Upon arrival in the Bahamas, all travelers will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test, and if their stay lasts more than five days, they'll need to be tested again on the fifth day.
This development follows on the heels of American Airlines' announcement of a COVID-19 testing pilot program for passengers flying from Miami to the Bahamas. However, specifics about the plan have yet to be announced.
"We are so pleased that American Airlines has included The Bahamas in their preflight testing program and for their continued commitment to mitigating the spread of coronavirus," Dionisio D'Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation for the Bahamas, said in a statement. "Miami is a major gateway to our islands, and we believe pre-departure testing will create important efficiencies while ensuring the health and safety of both our visitors and residents."