Although Bahamas has officially reopened for international tourism, travellers visiting this idyllic archipelago consisting of hundreds of coral islands and cays in the West Atlantic Ocean are not exempt from requirements and restrictions applied in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the residents’ health and wellbeing.
If you have already planned where you would like to spend your Bahamas vacation, make sure you stay up to date with the local rules in effect, which may range from lockdowns to curfews or imply limitations regarding guided tours or leaving your resort. Due to the constantly evolving nature of the global pandemic situation, check for any potential modifications until the day of your departure comes.
Whether you are flying direct or you have booked a journey with layovers to get to the islands via Panama or Miami, as an international traveller chances are that you will land in one of the four main international airports in the Bahamas listed below. While each of them serves a particular region, visitors can easily commute to the minor islands in the archipelago by ferry, water taxi or by catching a domestic flight operated by Bahamasair, Flamingo Air, Leair, Western Air or Southern Air.
The current COVID-19 requirements to travel to the Bahamas described later on in this post are in effect in all of the following international airports.
Main airports in the Bahamas archipelago
Lynden Pindling – Nassau international airport (NAS)
Located in New Providence island near the capital city of the Bahamas, Nassau, this airport is frequently chosen by travellers staying in Coral Harbour, downtown Nassau or Paradise Island. A hub for Bahamasair and Western Air, it handles the departure and arrival of flights to and from Toronto-Pearson, La Guardia airport, London Heathrow, Miami, Kingston, Panama, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Boston Logan, Newark Liberty and Havana. Besides, Lynden Pindling international airport offers US Customs Preclearance as well as domestic connections to Governor’s Harbour, Stella Maris, Chub Cay, Rock Sound and Marsh harbour.
Marsh Harbour airport (MHH) in the Bahamas
Marsh Harbour International airport, known today as Leonard M. Thompson airport, serves the Abaco Islands and is the second largest and busiest air terminal in the archipelago behind Lynden Pindling – Nassau. Most of its traffic comes from Charlotte Douglas International, Miami, Nassau, West Palm Beach, Freeport and Fort Lauderdale.
Exuma international airport (GGT)
GGT serves the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, is located a 30-minute drive northwest of George Town and receives flights from Miami, Nassau, Rock Sound, Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale all year round, and seasonal flights from Toronto, Charlotte and San Salvador during the peak season. Despite not being a large terminal, it is quite visitor-friendly and features small shops and a car rental facility.
Grand Bahama international airport (FPO)
The Grand Bahama airport serves the free trade zone of Freeport in Bahamas. It handles connections to and from Malpensa airport in Italy seasonally, while regular scheduled flights operated by Bahamasair, American Eagle and Flamingo Air -among other carriers- to and from Charlotte, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Nassau, Great Harbour Cay, Moore’s Island, South Bimini and Walker’s Cay are available throughout the whole year.
Covid-19 requirements to visit the Bahamas: before you fly
In order to be admitted into the Bahamas, international travellers need to have completed their vaccination process at least two weeks ago, or else provide a negative PCR-test taken no earlier than 5 days prior to their arrival date. However, both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists must complete the mandatory online form to obtain a Health Travel Visa before their trip to Bahamas and purchase additional health insurance.
Vaccinated travellers will be asked for personal info, passport details and the length of their stay as well as for the uploading of some proof of completed vaccination. The approval will be given online no later than 48 hours after the application, which should be printed out and kept in your hand luggage. Fees may apply, alongside $40 worth of health insurance to cover stays of up to 4 nights or $60 if you are staying longer.
Unvaccinated international visitors will follow the same procedure except for the fact that they will need to upload a proof of their negative PCR-test and undergo periodical nasal swab testing and health monitoring throughout their vacation in the Bahamas.
At the airport
Upon landing in the Bahamas, expect temperature checks and the requirement to wear your face mask while inside the facilities of the airport at all times. Some resorts might also ask you to wear a mask in communal zones. Don’t forget your printed copy of the Bahamas Health Travel Visa and the covid-19 insurance, since airport staff may want to see it and confirm its validity both when you board your flight at the origin airport and when you land at the final destination.