Going to the Bahamas for a weekend getaway? Here's what you need to know

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Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. - Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune/TNS

The Bahamas officially reopened to the public last week — with a handful of new coronavirus guidelines.

When you pack your sunscreen and bathing suit, make sure you have your mask ready as well.

Phase 2 allows for international travel. Earlier this month, the country allowed international boaters, yachters and private aviation as part of Phase 1.

Bring your COVID-19 test: If you plan on visiting the Bahamas, you must present a negative COVID-19 swab test upon arrival. For those visiting by Tuesday, the test results must be no more than 10 days old. For those arriving after Tuesday, the results must be no more than seven days old.

You’ll need a health visa: Travelers will be required to complete an electronic health visa prior to departure and present proof of confirmation at their destination.

Temperature checks: At airports and seaports, all visitors will undergo temperature checks conducted by health care personnel. Any travelers who show COVID-19 symptoms will be transferred to a separate area for further testing and evaluation.

Masks are required: Visitors will be required to wear face masks in “any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines.” In addition to airports and sea terminals, travelers must wear masks in taxis, while checking in at hotels, standing in line at attractions and before being seated at restaurants. Failure to comply with the country’s mask guidelines could result in a $200 fine or one month imprisonment.

Flights resume: JetBlue resumed daily service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Nassau last week, while American Airlines will resume flights twice a day between Miami and Nassau on Tuesday.

Curfew in effect: The Bahamas will continue its mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., so travelers must return to their housing accommodations during that time. Visitors will be allowed to move freely throughout their hotel and resort properties during curfew.

What about Atlantis: One of the most popular hotels, Atlantis will resume operations on Tuesday. While the casino slot machines will be open 24/7, table games and sports betting will have revised hours.

Later phases: Beginning July 13, the Bahamas will enter Phase 3 of its reopening, which allows for attractions, excursions and tours to resume. Phase 4, which begins July 27, will allow vendors and jet ski operators to reopen.


©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)