Yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that all air passengers flying to the U.S. from a foreign country will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test (PCR or Antigen test), taken no more than 3 days prior to the flight.
This new regulation will apply to all travellers ages 2 and older, including U.S. citizens and international travellers. The order will go into effect on January 26, 2021.
Furthermore, any person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last three months must be prepared to show documentation of recovery, which consists of proof of their positive viral test, coupled with a letter from a healthcare provider or a public health official, providing clearance to travel.
Airlines will be responsible for confirming the negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before they board, and will deny boarding to any person who does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test.
The Government of The Bahamas has successfully implemented stringent measures to protect its citizens, residents and visitors, and is well positioned to adhere to this new order, seamlessly integrating the CDC’s testing requirements into The Bahamas’ existing COVID-19 protocols.
Currently, visitors to The Bahamas who stay longer than four nights and five days are required to take a rapid antigen test on the fifth day of their stay, with a number of testing sites throughout The Bahamas approved to administer tests. This means travellers and residents alike, readily have access to the viral tests, now required to enter the U.S.
“The Bahamas Government will continue to work in accordance with the CDC to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has been our top priority since the onset of this global pandemic,” said Dionisio D’Aguilar, The Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation. “Our journey has not been without bumps in the road, but we have made great strides in combatting this virus as evidenced by the very low case numbers we have now achieved.
Visitors to our shores should have peace of mind knowing that we are making every effort to keep The Bahamas safe, and can now offer a turnkey, affordable and reliable testing process that meets U.S. requirements.”
All U.S. travellers to The Bahamas as well as Bahamian citizens and residents are required to abide by the CDC’s protocols to enter the U.S. An overview of these requirements, as well as FAQs, can be found on the CDC website.
Due to the fluidity of COVID-19, the Government of The Bahamas will continue to monitor cases across the islands and loosen or tighten restrictions as needed.
The Bahamas is an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays, spread over 100,000 square miles, which means conditions and instances of the virus can be different on each of the 16 islands available to welcome visitors.