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by Robert Ulrich/Go Fish Bahamas
It’s been way too long! Anglers everywhere have been locked down. No fishing, just frustration, right? Well we have good news, especially if you love fishing the pristine waters found in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas has officially opened its borders (since June 15), but not to everyone. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation has announced the destination will begin Phase 1 of their opening Monday, June 15. International boaters, yachters and private aviation will be invited back to cruise, fish and enjoy the pristine waters surrounding their all their islands.
During Phase 1, hotels will also reopen for staff to return to work and put in place all the measures required to ensure they are ready to welcome guests at the onset of Phase 2. Commercial airlines will also be allowed to bring in Bahamian citizens, legal residents, homeowners qualifying for economic permanent residency, or the immediate family members or significant others of any of these groups. It is anticipated that during this period of time there will be a reduced flight schedule as airlines begin adding The Bahamas to their schedules once again. This is the first part of the strategic, phased reopening approach for the tourism sector that ensures critical health and safety protocols are being adhered to, and that the Health sector remains well equipped and ready to respond as necessary.
Guidelines, Policies and Procedures for International boaters, yachters and private aviation visiting The Bahamas between June 15 and June 30 are as follows: a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test is required and must be presented upon arrival. Results must be no more than ten (10) days old. (Children under the age of two are not required to take a test.) Private pilots who do not deplane are not required to take a test. All travelers – both domestic and international – are required to complete an Electronic Health Declaration Form (at travel.gov.bs) prior to departure and for any inter-island travel within The Bahamas. An automated response will be provided upon completion, and it is essential that travelers present proof of confirmation upon arrival — an important step for contact tracing purposes.
No quarantine will be required if all steps are met. Failure to comply with the test requirements and heath form submission will result in denied entry. Boaters must inform their marina at least 48 hours prior to vessel’s arrival. This Phase 1 of tourism re-entry builds on and supports existing government rules and regulations, which already allow for inter-island domestic travel for Bahamian citizens and residents. Reopening of borders will continue to be monitored and guided by The Bahamas government and health officials. Reopening dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 trends.
On July 1st phase two starts which will welcome all international visitors. Air service will resume, and your favorite fishing lodge, and all other accommodations, will be open and ready to welcome anglers and friends. So will all those hungry fish.
For more information, or to view the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, please visit: www.bahamas.com/travelupdates. All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8 p.m. – 8 a.m. EDT