June 22, 2020 5 min read

Welcome to the Conch & Coconut’s official blog, "Crack Open the Good Life" your source for all things Harbour Island and Eleuthera. Think of us as your personal island insider, filling you in on all the secrets that make the islands so magical. 

We have been planning to launch this blog for some time now and distinctly remember our discussion of topics for our first post. “Let’s discuss the best hotels for wedding parties” said one team member, while another wanted to discuss the“five reasons why you should order the lobster quesadilla at Sip Sip.” 

But then, the world changed, and so did we.  

So for our inaugural blog post, we’re going to be a bit more buttoned-up (we’re normally in bathing suits)and serve as a hub of information as the Bahamas re-opens our borders to the world. We do so excitedly, but with a sense of caution and strong preliminary measures to avoid the further spread of COVID-19. We’ve pulled together all the relevant travel information you’ll need when international travel to the Bahamas resumes on July 1, 2020.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic our highest priority is the health and safety of our clientele, employees, and our community. At Conch & Coconut we take pride in our pre-existing cleaning practices and have gone even further to take every precaution to ensure we are protecting everyone’s well-being while continuing to serve you. Our golf carts are thoroughly cleaned inside and out between rentals and we require our employees wear masks upon dropoff of golf cart rentals. We’ve also created custom Conch & Coconut reusable face masks that you will receive upon arrival. 

Below is we’ve laid out information on reopening provided by the Ministry of Tourism and we will be updating the blog as we receive updates in real-time. In the meantime, if you’re planning your trip to Harbour Island, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

We look forward to welcoming you with open arms (6 feet away, of course) as you experience the magic of Harbour Island and“Crack Open the Good Life” with us! 

x The Conch & Coconut Team

Rules for entrance to the Bahamas: 

  • Negative PCR COVID-19 test and completed health forms required for all visitors, Bahamians, and residents entering or returning to the Bahamas. 
  • The test must be taken within a window up to 10 days before travel to the Bahamas 
  • For Bahamians and residents, a negative test is not required for short travel periods of 72 hours or less outside The Bahamas; however, upon return, a 14-day quarantine may be required based on the determination by the Ministry of Health. 

REQUIREMENTS FOR AIR TRAVEL TO THE BAHAMAS FOR 2020:

Policies and Procedures for all travelers visiting The Bahamas beginning July 1 are as follows. Plans continue to evolve in response to COVID-19 trends, and so additional guidance will be communicated as details are available. 

  • Due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and in an abundance of caution for the health and safety of both travelers and residents, all incoming visitors must present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test upon arrival. Results must be no more than ten (10) days old. 
    • Select individuals will be exempt from testing, which includes children under the age of two, private pilots who do not deplane, and Bahamian citizens, residents, and homeowners returning from English speaking CARICOM countries. 
  • All travelers will be required to complete an electronic Health Visa. Additional information is forthcoming. 
  • No quarantine will be required upon arrival, however, travelers who show symptoms of COVID-19 may be transferred to an area away from other passengers for further testing and evaluation. 
  • All inter-island travelers must complete an electronic Domestic Travel form attravel.gov.bs prior to departure and for any inter-island travel within The Bahamas. An automated response will be provided upon completion. All travelers must have their confirmation on hand upon arrival to their destination. This is a crucial step for contact tracing purposes. 
  • At airports and seaports, healthcare personnel will conduct temperature screenings for all incoming visitors. Travelers will be required to wear a face mask in any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines, such as when entering and transiting air and sea terminals, while navigating security and customs screenings, and at baggage claim.

As part of Phase 2, hotels and vacation rentals, including Airbnb and HomeAway will open to guests. Domestic and International airlines are permitted to resume service, and many are beginning to announce plans for their return to The Bahamas: 

  • Delta Airlines will be resuming its twice-daily Atlanta to Nassau service July 2
  • United Airlines announced its daily Houston to Nassau service will resume July 6 and the Saturday-only Denver to Nassau service will resume July 11. 
  • American Airlines will resume flights to Nassau and Exuma on July 7. 
  • Air Canada is scheduled to resume flights from Toronto to Nassau on July 3, 2020

REQUIREMENTS FOR BOATERS AND BAHAMAS MARINAS FOR 2020:

COVID-19 PCR Swab Test results (not more than 10 days old) to be handed in upon arrival in The Bahamas to Customs & Immigration. This requirement will not end on July 1st.

Children under the age of two are not required to have the test.

The health form to fill out prior to travel is located here:https://travel.gov.bs/ including a link to upload test results. Users will receive an immediate automated response with travel names and approval. Please Print this response.

Customs & Immigration Forms – fill out and print prior to arrival:

Boaters Requirements once in The Bahamas

  • On arrival (having cleared at local ports of entry), anyone disembarking at a marina will be subject to potential additional screening mandated by the Ministry of Health, such as taking of temperature.
  • While clearing Customs & Immigration, crew and passengers are required to wear a mask, covering the nose and mouth.
  • There are no restrictions for inter-island travel within The Bahamas. Domestic travel needs to be logged in athttps://travel.gov.bs/.

Business Updates 

Bahamas Curfew 

Monday - Sunday  

10 p.m. - 5 a.m. 

Restaurants 

Indoor dining is allowed with physical distancing and sanitization protocols. Staff must wear masks at all times, and patrons must wear masks when entering and exiting the establishment. Maximum seating capacity based on 50% occupancy (30 sq ft per person).

Monday, June 22

Business hours are extended to 8 PM - physical distancing and proper sanitation and hygiene measures are required. Masks/ face coverings must be worn. 

Wednesday, July 1 

Gyms, Group Exercise & Spas 

  • Gyms may reopen as well as outdoor exercise with proper health and safety protocols approved by the Ministry of Health
  • Spas may reopen with proper health and safety protocols approved by the Ministry of Health

Bahamas COVID-19 Travel Information:

https://covid19.gov.bs/travel/

Boat Travel:

https://bahamasmarinas.com/procedures-and-protocols/

Air Travel:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bahamas-ministry-of-tourism--aviation-prepares-for-phase-2-reopening-july-1-301080405.html