Jun 12, 2020

Bahamas Travel Requirements & Re-Entry Protocols for Yachts

At the beginning of the month, Bahamian Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar announced that The Bahamas would start lifting its travel restrictions and reopen to international commercial travel on July 1. Before the general opening of the country at the start of July, the country would slowly start reopening for tourism starting in June.

  • "However, before the general opening of our borders on 1 July, it is intended that a Phase 1 opening of the tourism sector will begin to roll out on June 15. Phase 1 is expected to see the opening of the tourism sector with the return of boaters, yachters and private aviation being allowed to enter the destination. We are starting with these smaller special interest groups as they provide a more controlled segment; they all will pre¬-register electronically, allowing health officials to determine their risk level.” – Bahamian Minister of Tourism & Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar [1]

bahamas beach

Private Yachts and Flights Will Be Welcomed Starting June 15

Starting June 15, The Bahamas will welcome private yachts and planes to its islands. By then, the government will be implementing several safety measures at airports, seaports, and marinas such as temperature screenings, social distancing rules, and requiring visitors to wear a mask. The early opening for yachts and private flights is being justified as a way to test the new safety measures, so yacht owners and crew will be expected to follow them closely.

  • “Our top priority has and will always be our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors. We must remember that we are living in a new normal in the wake of COVID-19 and a lot is going to change across the tourism sector. We are putting an even greater emphasis on making sure The Bahamas is safe and clean for everyone and look forward to once again providing travelers with the tropical experience our islands are known for.” – Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu [2]

If you are a yacht owner or captain itching to return to The Bahamas by June 15, 2020, you will need to follow The Bahamas travel requirements and re-entry requirements for yachts. There are certain things you are required to do before you can dock at a Bahamas marina. After you arrive at The Bahamas, there are other requirements and protocols you must follow to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

Pre-Travel Requirements For Yacht Owners & Crew


  • You and your crew members must obtain a COVID-19 RT-PCR test within 10 days of travel
  • Complete the Ministry of Health Application to Travel
  • Print and scan it, then email the completed form to  COVID19travel@bahamas.gov.bs and CC reservations@bahamasmarinas.com.
  • Send email more than 5 working days before departure.
  • Inform marina at least 48 hours prior to your yacht’s arrival
  • Fulfill Clearance Procedures
    • Follow procedures to secure clearance for your yacht
    • Option 1: Have your yacht and crew pre-cleared in Fort Lauderdale and you will not be required to do further clearance procedures on arrival to The Bahamas.
      • For more information, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nassau (Call 242-323-5578) or The Bahamas Consulate General in Miami (Call 305-373-6295).
    • Option 2: Follow clearance procedures once you arrive at The Bahamas. When your yacht first enters Bahamas waters, hoist up a yellow quarantine flag. Dock your vessel in a marina and prepare a sterile area. Call for clearance and Customs & Immigration and Health officials will board your yacht.
    • Crew and guests planning to travel to more than one island within The Bahamas must fill out and print copies of a Domestic Health Travel Card.
Pre-Travel Requirements for Yachts Going to The Bahamas infographic

 

Must-Follow COVID-19 Safety Procedures and Protocols

  • Once you have arrived at The Bahamas and cleared your vessel and crew at a local port of entry, you and your crew may have to follow additional Bahamas travel requirements.
    • Anyone disembarking at a marina may be subject to other COVID-19 testing and screening mandated by the Ministry of Health, including but not limited to:
      • Temperature taking
      • Additional COVID-19 RT-PCR testing
  • Those in your yacht must adhere to the following COVID-19 safety requirements and protocols when staying in The Bahamas:
    • Crew and passengers are required to wear face masks that cover their nose and mouth while in port and on marina’s premises.
    • Crew and passengers must wear masks and gloves during time spent off their vessel.
    • Never shake used or unused clothing, sheet, or cloth items on the docks or anywhere in the marina.
    • Vessels are required to remain 50 feet apart.
    • Tying boats together or rafting boats is not allowed.
    • Running boats ashore in shallow water to disembark or beaching boats is not allowed.
    • Crew and passengers must stay at least six feet apart from others.
    • Fish cleaning stations must be occupied by one person at a time.
    • Anyone coughing, sneezing, or showing other signs of illness should be isolated until appropriate tests can be performed.

 

Sources

1.       The Bahamas Weekly – Minister of Tourism remarks at Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan Press Conference

2.       Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure – The Bahamas Will Welcome Private Yachts, Planes on June 15, Followed by Commercial Travel in July

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