How to Get a COVID Test in the Bahamas for Americans
COVID testing guide in Bahamas for re-entry into the U.S.
From 19 June 2022, foreign travelers who wish to travel to the Bahamas no longer need a Bahamas Health Pass. Everything else stays as it was, meaning that U.S. citizens can still travel to the Bahamas without a visa, and citizens from other countries still need a Bahamas Tourist Visa.
Think of this good news as one less thing you need to worry about before you travel to the Bahamas!
The Bahamas has mandated that all international tourists obtain a Bahamas Travel Health Visa before arrival to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is an entry requirement to enter The Bahamas for everyone, including U.S. citizens. The travel health visa application is online, requires a negative COVID-19 test, and takes up to 60 hours (or four business days) to process.
Important Update for Travel from the United States
**The processing times for The Bahamas Health Visa is running into more than 60 hours (2+ days), with several travelers reporting missed flights. Atlys is the fastest option with a turnaround time of 6 hours. If you're visiting during this time, Atlys is the best option to get your visa on time.
Important Change As of March 07, 2022
Please note all travelers will be required to submit a covid negative test result no more than 3 days prior to travel. All previously approved travel health visas will be honored and accepted.
For the purpose of this post, we'll discuss the following:
You can now submit a Bahamas Health Visa in under 5 minutes on Atlys. Download the Atlys app on your iPhone, put in your travel details, and let Atlys handle all the paperwork for you. Atlys has an average approval time of less than a day!
If your visa is still pending, Atlys can help too. Download the Atlys app on your iPhone and reach out!
Before traveling applying for your Bahamas Travel Visa, there a few things you need to consider. In this section, I discuss the most common questions travelers tend to have about the Bahamas Travel Visa:
The Bahamas Health Visa, also known as the Bahamas Travel Health Visa (BTHV), has been implemented since 2020 to help combat the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of visitors and locals of the Bahamas.
Simply put, it's a declaration stating that you're in good health and pose no threat to the safety of visitors and locals in the Bahamas.
Quick note: I should mention that the Bahamas Health Visa does not replace a standard Tourist/Visitors Visa. Suppose you require a visa to visit the Bahamas. In that case, you must apply for a Bahamas Tourist Visa and a Bahamas Health Visa.
All travelers (including US citizens) who plan to visit the exotic destination that is the Bahamas, must apply for a Bahamas Health Visa. Let's take a look at the types of travelers by age:
No. Bahamian Citizens and Residents don't need to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa. However, if this is you, there are specific entry requirements you need to meet. For your convenience, I'll add a screenshot that highlights these requirements and the entry requirements for each type of traveler:
You can start your Bahamas Travel Visa application no more than 4 days before your trip. Remember, you'll need to submit a negative COVID-19 test result taken no later than 72 hours (3 days) before your trip.
If your test results haven't come yet, the only way to submit a Bahamas Health Visa application is through Atlys. Atlys will pre-process your application and generate a visa once your test results are uploaded.
The cost of the Bahamas Health Visa is divided into 2 types of travelers. 1. A vaccinated traveler; and 2. An unvaccinated traveler. As such, I'll be listing the different Bahamas Health Visa costs per vaccination status and age:
Once you pay, you can see your Bahamas Travel Visa available immediately on your dashboard. Please save a copy to your phone or print it and show it upon arrival in the Bahamas.
It can take up to a hundred (100) hours to review your application. Once your trip is reviewed and approved, you can obtain your Travel Visa after payment. You do not have to pay for the Bahamas Travel Visa until your application is approved. After you pay, you will receive your visa in the form of a QR code.
We've heard from many travelers that their visas haven't been approved in close to 110 hours (4+ days). In such cases, it's advisable to call the Bahamas Travel Compliance Unit at (242) 502-0829. The waiting times can be as long as four (4) hours, but once you get a hold of them, they act swiftly and usually approve your visa right away. Unfortunately, the contact number might not work if your phone carrier does not support international calls. So if you wish to save that time, use Atlys and let us do the work for you!
Helpful tip - while the number starts with +1, cellular networks consider it an international call. Therefore, we advise buying an international plan beforehand to avoid paying hundreds of dollars in phone bills. For those who haven't received a visa in more than twenty-four (24) hours, we suggest first emailing them instead.
Each member of your family is required to get a Bahamas Health Visa, including young children. To learn more about applying for a Bahamas Health Visa for your family, check out this guide.
If you want to save hours of your time and phone bill, use Atlys to get a health visa before your trip - guaranteed!
In order to apply for your Bahamas Travel Visa, you'll need to create an account on the official website. In this section, I'll discuss what you can expect.
Go to the Bahamas Travel Health Visa website and select 'International.'
Start by creating an account. All adult travelers will need to create an account each as well. You cannot have one account for your entire group. The visa requirements include a valid passport, test, and accurate trip details.
In the next step, enter your passport details. Select your Bahamas Immigration Status as Visitor, and upload your Passport Information Page (this is the page bearing your personal information, such as first & last names). If you've dual nationality, put your nationality as the country you reside in. While not evident, ensure your passport is not expiring within six months. That can increase the chances of rejection.
In steps 3 and 4, enter your personal & residential details. This is your home address and not where you'll stay in the Bahamas. Next, you'll have to check all, if any, health conditions you have. This is required since your Bahamas Travel Health Visa includes COVID-19 insurance.
Finally, share details of your Emergency contact. This can be a family member, a friend, or even a travel agent. The Bahamas authorities might contact this person in case of an emergency.
Once you've created your account, you can use the Bahamas Health Visa login portal to access your trip details later on.
Once you've successfully created an account, you'll be redirected to the Bahamas Travel Visa login dashboard, which looks like this:
First, I want you to notice the "done" text underneath "Profile" and "Travel document". This indicates that the required information under these sections is already provided. If this is not marked as done, take this opportunity to complete the required information.
To add a trip, click on "Add Trip " that has been circled in orange. You'll be redirected to the trip application section, where you need to select "international."
After that, you'll be prompted to complete additional fields that include details about:
At the end of the trip application, you'll need to check the following boxes (if applicable):
After completing the online application form, your trip will be added to your dashboard under "Upcoming trips."
The trip status will change to 'Pending.' This means that your Bahamas Health Visa is in an automatic review queue. It will be either accepted or rejected. You do not have to pay until you receive an acceptance.
The decision depends on various factors, such as meeting all COVID-19 testing requirements, uploading an authentic report, and your recent international travel history. If your application is denied, you may contact the Bahamas Travel Compliance Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at +1 (242) 502-0829. Alternatively, contact Atlys, and we'll help you.
One of the final steps to your Bahamas Travel Visa is to pay the application fee. As previously mentioned, you only need to pay the Bahamas Health Visa fee if your visa application has been approved.
If you are traveling with children under age eighteen (18), you’re required to create a profile for each child. This entails uploading their valid passport and sharing personal details.
Select ‘Traveling with Children’ on the dashboard.
Select ‘Add a child’ for each child traveling with you.
Enter the child’s details and upload their travel document.
Children eighteen (18) years or older are required to have their own profile. Children between ages two (2) and eleven (11) must submit a negative COVID-19 test. The test can either be rapid or PCR. In addition, anyone older than eleven (11) years of age is required to upload a negative RT-PCR test if they're not fully vaccinated. Use this tool to get a personalized timetable for getting covid-19 tests.
Finally, you have to add details about your upcoming trip and upload a negative negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test. This is a mandatory requirement to submit the Bahamas Health Visa application form. The Bahamas only accepts Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines. You can put the lab as "CDC." If you're unsure about "COVID-19 Vaccine Slot Number", we recommend using Atlys since the software would scan and automatically figure out your vaccine slot number without you having to spend time doing that.
Select ‘Add Trip’ from the dashboard and choose ‘International,’ and enter details about your trip:
A COVID-19 Rapid or PCR negative test result within 3 days of your departure to the Bahamas is required for vaccinated travelers. For unvaccinated travelers, only RT-PCR tests are accepted. The format needs to be in PDF, PNG, or JPEG - use this free tool to convert your test report to those file formats. In addition, the lab report should indicate the address & phone number of the lab and your name. Use this tool to understand which type of test do you need to get.
A traveler recently reported a visa rejection. "They denied our first application because our letters from our health clinic didn’t have the name of the lab/facility with address and phone number listed on the letterhead. Also, make sure your letter has date tested, what kind of test, your name, and date of birth."
COVID-19 tests can be quite expensive. To save money, we recommend scheduling appointments at local city- or state-hosted government testing sites. They're usually drive-thru and free (or very cheap). Travelers getting tests from government-hosted sites save $120, on average. These are official state-government-run health portals where you can find COVID-19 testing sites. Those run by the state (if any) are free:
Verify all information and submit. You’ve to create a new ‘trip’ on the dashboard for any child you’re traveling with.
COVID-19 health insurance is included in the cost of your visa. The full details are available here, and the main benefits include:
Wondering what happens if you are infected with COVID-19? Read this discussion.
Atlantic Medical Insurance Limited underwrites health insurance.
All vaccinated travelers need to get a Rapid or PCR test within 3 days of departure.
Unvaccinated travelers are required to get a mandatory Rapid Antigen test on the fifth day of their trip. An approved testing center must administer rapid Antigen tests. You can find approved testing centers here. The fees for tests are included as part of the visa cost. Failure to take a rapid antigen test on the 5th day can result in a $1,000 fine, one-month imprisonment, or both.
Unvaccinated Travelers who test positive are required to take another RT-PCR test at their expense. Upon a positive RT-PCR report, travelers may choose to (1) leave the destination via approved medical transportation (using either insurance or personal resources if they have a medical necessity as stated in the terms and conditions of the Health Insurance), or (2) begin quarantining at their place of stay for a 14-day period, or length of stay.
On arrival and for a maximum of 14-days, or the duration of stay, you will be required to answer the Bahamas Daily Health Questionnaire. Vaccinated travelers are exempt from taking the daily survey. For unvaccinated travelers staying longer than four (4) nights, a Rapid Antigen test on day five (5) of your visit is required.
We also recommend taking a copy of your negative COVID-19 test result, hand sanitizer, and enough face masks to prevent unexpected issues in the Bahamas.
If your visa is rejected, you will get an email indicating the reason. Usually, it is easy to rectify and apply again. Common reasons include invalid tests, results not being conclusive, and lack of information.
What are some common causes of rejection?
Based on our data, these are common causes of rejection:
The government of the Bahamas has imposed a travel ban on individuals from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. The ban applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
So enough about the entry requirements and the Bahamas Health Visa. Let's get to the good part and the reason for your trip - to have an exceptional time. Bahamas travel is like no other! Here you'll be able to create some unique and memorable experiences that will last a life time. First let's take a look at the top destinations you can visit in the Bahamas.
Bahamas travel is all about relaxing in the sun, gazing at breathtaking views, and enjoying the crystal clear waters. And if you don't know, the Bahamas has plenty of that (and more)! Out of the 700 islands (big and small) within the Bahamas, I've selected 7 of the top Islands you should consider to visit when traveling to the Bahamas. Each has it's own unique attractions, sights, and is suitable for every type of traveler.
The weather in Bahamas is almost magical.
With a long summer season, you'll have ample time to enjoy a hot and sunny vacation. Between June and October you can expect to experience an average temperature of around 86°F and above. I should mention that during this time you may experience a few cloudy days. Nonetheless, an excellent opportunity to relax on the beach and do some cloud gazing.
The winter season in Bahamas is around 4 months starting December and stretching through March. Even in the cold season you can expect an average temperature of 79°F on warmer days and 70°F on colder days. During this time, cloudy skies are not common and you can expect to have an adventures day underneath clear blue skies.
You'll be happy to learn that English is the official language of the Bahamas. So, no need to retake those Spanish classes, or revise your mandarin.
You already know about all the Bahamas travel entry requirements and what you need to submit. But, what is the travel experience like during covid?
Well, similar to any destination you plan to visit. Be sure to follow general hygiene practices such as social distancing, wearing a mask, sanitising, etc.
As for indoor activities:
In most islands, social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 40 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Bars, and nightclubs are currently closed; and there are restrictions in place for restaurants and shopping malls. Yet, who needs all of that when you have plenty of Islands to explore, sights to discover, and almost unlimited outdoor opportunities.
In the end, covid has had an impact on Bahamas travel. Even so, tourist still have a plethora of options when visiting the Bahamas and luckily, covid can't take away the Bahamas travel experience.
No, the Bahamas Travel Visa is not free for travelers aged 11 or older.
You can get the Bahamas Visa electronically here.
No, it is not possible to get the Bahamas Travel Health Visa on arrival.
No, vaccinated travelers are exempt from that requirement.
A traveler is considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen or AstraZeneca. Other vaccines are not recognized, and those travelers should upload an RT-PCR test instead.
While that depends on the airline, you will not be allowed entry unless your visa is approved.
Yes, a COVID test is required to return to the US. Here is a guide on how to get a COVID-19 test in the Bahamas for re-entry into the United States.
Read this wonderful experience shared by a traveler who recently visited the Bahamas.
If you forget your Bahamas Health Visa login details, don't stress. The Bahamas Health Visa login portal provides an option in case you forget your passport. Simply go the portal, click on "Can't log in? Reset your passport" and follow the instructions. You should receive an email to reset your passport. Once completed, you'll be able to use the Bahamas Health Visa login portal.