CDC Issues Highest Travel Health Notice for The Bahamas

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has elevated its Travel Health Notice for the Bahamas to a Level 4, advising Americans to avoid all travel to the country due to the threat of COVID-19.

The news comes at the same time that the U.S. State Department has announced it will issue its highest travel advisory level—Level 4 “Do Not Travel”—for approximately 80 percent of countries around the world. As of January 2021, the Bahamas is listed at a Level 3, with officials urging Americans to reconsider travel to the destination due to health and safety measures and COVID-related conditions.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

As of mid-April, the Bahamas has reported more than 9,790 cases of coronavirus, including 194 deaths.

“As travelers face ongoing risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State will begin updating its travel advisories this week to better reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s science-based Travel Health Notices that outline current issues affecting travelers’ health,” the State Department said in a statement on Monday. “Our advisories also take into account logistical factors, including in-country testing availability and current travel restrictions for U.S. citizens.”

The CDC warns that “because of the current situation in the Bahamas even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants. If you must travel to the country, the agency recommends getting fully vaccinated before your trip and taking COVID-19 precautions such as wearing a mask, staying six feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing or sanitizing your hands frequently.

The Bahamas are currently open to international travel, however, visitors age 11 and over are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test taken no more than five days prior to their date of arrival and must apply for their required Bahamas Travel Health Visa at travel.gov.bs and opt-in to COVID-19 health insurance that covers them for the duration of their stay. The cost of the insurance is included in the Travel Health Visa application fee. Meanwhile, Americans returning to the U.S. after visiting the Bahamas will need to secure a negative COVID-19 test result within three calendar days of departure in order to gain re-entry.





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