The Bahamas is dropping plans to impose stricter pre-arrival testing requirements for vaccinated travelers but added a post-arrival test for everyone, announced the government.
On Dec. 23, Prime Minister Philip Davis announced that all foreign arrivals had to submit a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in the Caribbean nation regardless of their vaccination status.
Entry restrictions would become even tighter on Jan. 7, when the Bahamas planned to stop accepting antigen tests.
However, officials announced on Tuesday that such a mandate will be suspended.
“The Bahamas has suspended the mandatory RT-PCR testing requirement for vaccinated travelers, which was expected to take effect on 7 January 2022,” reads the press release.”
“Vaccinated persons, as well as children ages 2-11, may continue to present either a negative Rapid Antigen Test or negative RT-PCR Test, [taken no longer than three days before arrival].”
Unvaccinated travelers aged 12 and up must still present a negative PCR test. Rapid Antigen tests are no longer accepted as a valid proof to enter the country.
Visitors under the age of two are still exempt from mandatory testing.
The country also made an amendment to its post-arrival testing policy. All passengers staying for more than 48 hours must take a rapid antigen test as of Jan. 4.
“Effective 4 January 2022, all persons remaining in The Bahamas for longer than 48 hours will be required to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test, regardless of vaccination status.”
In addition, the Bahamas announced new initiatives targeted at halting the spread of the Omicron variant, which is said to be responsible for the current fourth wave of infections.
These include hiring more medical personnel and offering free Rapid Antigen Tests for asymptomatic residents.
On Wednesday, 315 new cases were reported, bringing the total number of infections to 26,701, with 3,437 still active.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reclassified the country to a Level 3 due to the high number of COVID-19 cases.
This prompted the US State Department to issue a warning to its citizens to reconsider travel to The Bahamas starting Jan, 4.