State Department and CDC advise against travel to the Bahamas

Aug 23, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story was updated on Aug. 25, 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State are advising Americans not to travel to the Bahamas as of Aug. 23, due to COVID-19.

Both have issued Level 4 travel advisories: The State Department has upgraded its travel advisory to Level 4: Do Not Travel while the CDC has raised its travel advisory to Level 4: Very High.

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Read more: Bahamas making it easier to visit; everything US citizens need to know

“Avoid travel to the Bahamas,” says the CDC. “If you must travel to the Bahamas, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel. Because of the current situation in the Bahamas, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”

As of Monday, Aug. 23, there were 150 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Bahamas, down from just over 100 a week ago on Aug. 16, according to data from the World Health Organization. Reuters reports that the Bahamas is averaging almost 100 new cases daily.

On May 1, the Bahamas welcomed back fully vaccinated visitors, exempting them from testing requirements but reversed course on Aug.6 to require all visitors regardless of vaccination status, to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within five days of arrival to the country. Specific requirements vary by vaccination status and age:

  • Vaccinated travelers can present results of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test
  • For unvaccinated travelers age 12 and older, only a PCR test will be accepted
  • Unvaccinated children ages 2-11 can show results of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test

Related: When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

Featured photo of empty beach in Nassau, Bahamas, by Melissa Alcena/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

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