Visitors to The Bahamas will not be required to take a PCR test before visiting as previously proposed in December. Instead, vaccinated visitors to the popular Caribbean getaway have the option to take either a PCR or antigen test, but the entry rules are slightly stricter for unvaccinated people.

Here's what you need to know about the latest update.

Man swimming to shore in perfectly clear turquoise-colored water.
Beaches and tourist attractions are open in The Bahamas ©Getty Images

The Bahamas entry rules

Back in December, the Bahamian government said that effective January 7, it would no longer accept antigen tests from vaccinated passengers. That decision has now been reversed. Fully vaccinated travelers and those under 12 have the option to show either an antigen or PCR test to enter The Bahamas, the country's tourism ministry said on Tuesday, provided the tests are taken within 72 hours of departure.

The rules are different for unvaccinated people over the age of 12. They are required to obtain a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours before traveling to The Bahamas. Prior to January 4, they were required to take another test on day five of their trip if staying for longer than four nights and five days but that policy has been scrapped. Under the new regulations, all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must take a lab-produced antigen test on day two of their stay.

Travelers under the age of two are exempt from all testing rules.

In addition, all visitors are required to complete an electronic Health Visa before departure to help with contact tracing and once they're on the islands they must adhere to mask and social distancing guidelines. 

Read more: How to choose an island in The Bahamas

Bahamas, Eleuthera Island, Current Village
Travelers will have the freedom to move about The Bahamas with ease provided they follow public health guidelines ©Getty Images

Inter-island travel rules

Anyone wishing to travel between the islands must also test negative for COVID-19. For vaccinated individuals, an antigen test taken within three days of travel is sufficient if traveling from Nassau, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, Eleuthera or Inagua. Unvaccinated people traveling domestically between the islands will need to take a PCR test within three days of travel. 

While COVID-19 cases are surging in places like Nassau and Freeport, Bahamian authorities lifted previously imposed lockdowns and curfews in mid-November and most places are open with some restrictions that vary across islands. Beaches are operating as normal.

Introducing The Bahamas

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The best Caribbean islands: a quick, easy guide to finding your paradise
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This article was first published October 2020 and updated January 2022

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