Bahamas says U.S. guests now welcome but it comes with a catch

(Marnie Hunter/CNN)

NASSAU, Bahamas – In a long address to his country less than 10 days ago, the Bahamas’ prime minister announced travel restrictions not allowing any commercial flights or vessels carrying passengers from the United States, among other ways to try to avoid a wave of COVID-19 that seemed to surge after the Bahamas opened back up to visitors on July 1.

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said that beginning July 22, only international commercial flights and commercial vessels carrying passengers from Canada, the United Kingdom or the European Union were allowed to enter the Bahamas. But on Friday, there was a reversal, of sorts, of that decision making it possible for travelers from all countries to enter, even those from the United States.

However, visitors from the States may want to plan a vacation longer than two weeks and have some extra cash on hand.

Clause 26 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic)(No. 2) Order issued states that visitors arriving on “an international commercial air travel” must — at their own expense —submit to quarantine at a government facility for 14 days and undergo an RT-PCR COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test at the end of the 14-day period, also at the visitor’s expense.

Visitors can arrive to Bahamas from U.S. on private charters or pleasure vessels without the 14 day quarantine requirement.