Written by 9:43 pm Travel

VISA CUTBACKS: Davis admin axes travel health visa for inter-island travel and removes cost for residents

Negative COVID tests still required; visa still in place for travel into Bahamas

Testing on day 5 of travel now only required for those entering the country

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Newly-appointed Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville yesterday announced several amendments to the Bahamas travel health visa, notably that it isn’t any longer required for inter-island travel and visa fees for all returning Bahamian residents and residents have been removed. 

A press release outlining a series of changes to the prevailing emergency order read: “Vaccinated individuals travelling inter-island from New Windfall or Grand Bahama will now be exempt from obtaining a travel health visa; they’re only required to supply a negative rapid antigen test of the kind approved by the Ministry of Health.”

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville (center). (BIS/PATRICK HANNA)

It also stated that non-vaccinated travelers will only need to supply a negative RT-PCR test at the purpose of embarkation during inter-island travel. 

For people who’re traveling inter-island from every other island in The Bahamas, excluding New Windfall and Grand Bahama, only a negative rapid antigen test will have to be produced at the purpose of embarkation to travel. 

Bahamian residents, residents and visitors are all required to acquire a travel health visa to enter The Bahamas. The payment of the travel health visa fee is waived for returning Bahamian residents and residents.

Prior to this latest amendment, the travel health visa fee for unvaccinated Bahamian residents and residents was $40 per traveler; and the fee for vaccinated Bahamian residents and residents was $10 per traveler. 

The statement also noted amendments to secondary testing, which refers back to the rapid antigen test required for travelers to tackle the fifth day of being within the Bahamas.

That is now only a requirement upon five days after entry within the country.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis.

This amendment is amongst the primary set of guarantees honored by the Davis administration, who on the campaign trail decried the previous travel health visa requirements.

On the time, party leader and now Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis called the visa “a burdensome, unnecessary tax on Bahamians at a time of widespread economic pain”.

He vowed to finish the visa altogether on the time, nevertheless, the travel health visa remains to be in effect, only modified. 

It was rolled out in November 2020 under the Minnis administration. 

Written by Eyewitness News Intern Gabrielle Sterling

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