The Bahamas Plans to Reopen on July 1: Here’s What You Need to Know

The Bahamas is targeting July 1 in its latest plans to reopen its borders for international travel and tourism. "We are looking at a possible date for commercial travel on or before July 1 of this year," Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis recently announced. "These dates may change depending on the circumstance. I want to repeat, however, that this date is not final.” 

As of June 2, The Bahamas has 102 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

"It will be adjusted if we see a deterioration of the COVID-19 infection trends or if we’ve determined that the protocols and procedures are not in place sufficiently to warrant this opening," added Minnis. Following the PM’s announcement, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation unveiled a five-phase plan to reopen the country to international travelers. The ministry is continuing to follow guidance from the Bahamas Ministry of Health and other government agencies pertaining to the country’s Preparedness & Response Plan for COVID-19. While these plans are tentative and subject to change based on COVID-19 trends, and advice from the Bahamian government and health organizations, it’s a comprehensive blueprint for how the country plans to welcome tourists back while enforcing extensive health and safety protocols. 

According to a May 29 statement from The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, “A Tourism Readiness and Recovery Committee has been established among public and private sector partners to develop a collaborative plan for reopening. The committee collected and considered feedback from every type of business and tourism touchpoint - from airlines and cruise ports, to hotels, taxi drivers, tour operators and retailers, to name a few. The intent is to provide health and safety guidelines and protocols to be followed consistently across the country that allow businesses to protect employees and guests.” 

When Will The Bahamas Reopen? 

On March 24, 2020, The Bahamas implemented an international travel ban to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The island nation plans to reopen its borders on July 1. To maintain the health and safety of residents and visitors alike, only islands that have contained the outbreak will be opened to tourists. As of the beginning of June, these islands include: Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros. The southern islands of Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Ragged Island and Rum Cay have also previously been cleared as part of a gradual reopening of the Family Islands. Additionally, American Airlines has just announced that the airline will resume international flights to Nassau and Exuma beginning July 7. Tourists who have been cleared to travel to The Bahamas will be able to travel freely between these islands once they land.

Which Hotels Will Be Open to Tourists? 

As of now, only resorts on New Providence Island will be reopened for tourism. 

New Providence/Nassau: 

 

Grand Bahama Island:

  • All hotels and resorts are closed until further notice.

 

Out Islands: 

  • All hotels and resorts are closed until further notice.

 

Final Thoughts

While only time will tell if these plans to reopen can actually be implemented on July 1, those who are feeling wanderlust after being cooped up at home for months on end during this global health crisis can perhaps feel a small glimmer of hope. The question of whether or not it’s truly safe to travel? We advise our readers to trust your instincts, and most importantly, follow the advice of health organizations to determine whether it is in fact safe to travel again.

 

Stay tuned for more updates. 

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