Bahamas Moving to Fully Reopen Borders Based on Vaccines

The Bahamas government has announced several changes to the Emergency Powers Order, including adjustments to curfews, testing requirements for domestic travel, travel health visa fees, wedding receptions, funeral services and provisions for fully vaccinated individuals.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said that progress achieved on the management of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has allowed the government to make changes to the Emergency Powers Order.

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He said that mask and sanitization requirements remain in place for everyone.

“Our aim is to fully re-open in several months if various conditions are met and advised by health officials.  As always, we will continue to follow the science and consult with our health team on how best to move forward,” Prime Minister Minni added.

The government said that the new curfew hours on New Providence and mainland Abaco will begin at 11.00 pm to 5.00 am, on Grand Bahama, from 12 midnight to 5.00 am and on Cat Island, North Andros and Central Andros, from 10.00 pm to 5.00 am (local time).

The curfew on South Andros and the Berry Islands has been lifted and the government said the RT-PCR test requirement for travel from Grand Bahama, Cat Island and Andros has been removed.

It said that effective July 1, the US$10 Travel Health Visa fee for vaccinated Bahamians and residents returning home from abroad will be waived. However, travelers are still required to apply for a health visa.

The government said that in New Providence, funeral and memorial services are now permitted in a church or other indoor facility in accordance with the health protocols of the Bahamas Christian Council and approved by the Ministry of Health. There is no requirement to be fully vaccinated. Masks and physical distancing are still required.

Repasts remain prohibited on New Providence and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, mainland Abaco, Eleuthera, including Harbour Island, and Great and Little Exuma.

The number of people allowed to gather in groups on beaches and parks has been increased from five to 15 and the authorities said this applies to New Providence and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, mainland Abaco, Eleuthera, including Harbour Island, and Great and Little Exuma, where restrictions were previously in place.

Private gatherings and other social events in homes and elsewhere may now be held, provided that all attendees are fully vaccinated with both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hosts will be responsible for verifying vaccination status of their guests with the authorities warning that both hosts and guests will be subject to fines for non-compliance.

Wedding receptions will now be permitted in New Providence and Grand Bahama, provided that all attendees are fully vaccinated. All performance groups and artists, including bands, Junkanoo groups, dance troupes, and acting groups may perform at all activities permitted under the Emergency Powers Order, provided that all performers are fully vaccinated.

CMC

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