More stringent pre-arrival testing requirements were set to go into effect over the weekend in the Bahamas, but government officials scrapped those plans at the last minute.
Prime Minister Philip Davis and health officials said in late 2021 that the island nation would no longer allow rapid antigen tests from vaccinated visitors starting January 7.
But officials announced earlier this week that those plans have been suspended. Fully vaccinated visitors can continue to show a negative rapid test or PCR test upon arrival, the Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation said in a release.
“We must remain vigilant and stay the course in order to curb the spread of the virus. We are continuing to evolve as the pandemic evolves, and we know that we have seen this advisory from the CDC before,” I. Chester Cooper, Bahamas Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, said.
Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative PCR test and remain ineligible to use rapid tests.
“The CDC rating will continue to fluctuate throughout the pandemic and is not cause for alarm, but it is a reminder that we cannot let our guard down,” Cooper said. “All measures and protocols are essential to ensuring the safety of our residents and visitors, and we must continue to take them very seriously.”
One change that has gone into effect is a change in the post-arrival testing requirements. Those staying on the islands longer than four nights and five days were previously required to take a rapid antigen test. That has now been changed to 48 hours.
All of the pre-arrival, arrival, and departure rules can be found on the country’s official website.
“The health and well-being of all who enter or reside in the Bahamas remains the number one priority, and diligent efforts are enforced to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” the website states.