The Bahamas lifts COVID-19 testing rule for vaccinated travelers

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Fully vaccinated travelers visiting the Bahamas can now skip coronavirus testing. 

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism announced the new protocol for vaccinated travelers over the weekend. 

Starting Saturday, the island nation began allowing visitors who are fully vaccinated and have passed the two-week immunity period to enter the country and travel around the islands without being tested, according to the website.

However, there are some stipulations.

The Bahamas is only accepting four vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca.

Travelers will have to upload valid proof of their vaccine to their Bahamas Travel Health Visa.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated travelers will still have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test to enter the Bahamas. 

Those PCR tests have to be completed at most, 5 days before arrival in the country and uploaded to the Bahamas Travel Health Visa, the website says.

Regardless of vaccination status, the Bahamas is still requiring all travelers who are 18 or older to apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa and to opt-in to the country’s COVID-19 health insurance. 

According to the tourism website, the Bahamas Travel Health Visa applications can take 48 hours to process and the cost of the visa depends on how long visitors plan to stay and their vaccination status.

Despite the Bahamas’ eased restrictions, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends against traveling to the islands, according to an April 19 update.

The Bahamas have been labeled “Level 4: Very High” on the CDC’s COVID-19 levels, according to the agency.

“Because of the current situation in the Bahamas, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to the Bahamas,” the CDC says on its website. 

“If you must travel to the Bahamas, get fully vaccinated before travel,” the agency adds. “All travelers should wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands.”

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