COVID-19 Travel
May 28, 2021

COVID-19 Travel Guidance for U.S. Citizens

COVID-19 Alert
July 21, 2021

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

International Travel

English

Country Information

The Bahamas

Bahamas
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Reconsider travel to The Bahamas due to COVID-19. Exercise caution in some areas of The Bahamas due to crime. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reconsider travel to The Bahamas due to  COVID-19. Exercise caution in some areas of The Bahamas due to crime. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.     

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the Bahamas due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in The Bahamas.

Country Summary: The vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands.  In Nassau, exercise caution in the “Over the Hill” area (south of Shirley Street). Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault occur, but generally not in tourist areas. Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated.  Watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas. Jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists. As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use independently operated jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to The Bahamas:

  • See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for The Bahamas.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency and medical situations.
  • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.        

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Must be valid at time of entry.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


Two pages are required for entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


No.

VACCINATIONS:


None.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


Visitors must declare currency and other negotiable instruments of $10,000 or more upon entry.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Visitors must declare currency and other negotiable instruments of $10,000 or more upon exit.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Nassau

P.O. Box N-8197
#42 Queen Street
Nassau, The Bahamas
Telephone:
+(242) 322-1181
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(242) 322-1181
Email: ACSnassau@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on The Bahamas for information on U.S. - Bahamas relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/ exit requirements related to COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

Visit the Bahamas Immigration website for the most current visa information. U.S. citizens are generally required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to The Bahamas, as well as proof of anticipated departure from The Bahamas. Those traveling to The Bahamas on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document. However, we strongly recommend you obtain a passport before travel in case of an unforeseen emergency that requires you to disembark and return by air. U.S. travelers coming for tourism will not need a visa for travel up to 90 days. All other travelers will need a visa and/or work permit.

The Bahamas requires compliance with regulations to divert child abduction similar to U.S. policies. Review those policies before traveling.

HIV/AIDS restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of The Bahamas.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Crime: The Department of State rates the criminal threat level in New Providence Island (includes Nassau and Paradise Island) as critical. The vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) Islands. Criminal activity on the outlying Family Islands does occur, but to a much lesser degree than on New Providence or Grand Bahama. In Nassau, exercise caution in the “Over the Hill” area (south of Shirley Street). Violent crime such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults occur, but generally not in tourist areas. For the latest security messages, visit our website.

Find more information about common safety and security concerns in The Bahamas including credit card fraudreal estate scams, and water sport and scooter safety on our website.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 919 or 911, and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(242) 322-1181. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Adventure Tourism: Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated. Watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas. U.S. citizens seeking to engage in adventure tourism-related activities, including boat tours, are strongly encouraged to confirm the following with any tour operator:

  • Credentials and certification to operate in The Bahamas
  • Liability in the event of an accident
  • Safety and rescue protocols for guides

Jet-Ski Operators: Jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists. As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use independently operated jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.

Hurricanes: Hurricane season generally runs from June through November, although hurricanes can occur outside that period. Monitor local weather reports closely. Airports and seaports cease operations well before a predicted storm arrives, and seats on most commercial transportation may sell out far in advance.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, please refer to the Department of State’s page on Hurricane Safety and the U.S. Embassy Nassau’s Hurricane Preparedness page.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Drugs:  Marijuana and all products that contains its derivatives such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) -- to include gummies, oils and other edible products -- are NOT legal in The Bahamas. Having a prescription or medical card for cannabis/marijuana does not exempt you from being prosecuted under Bahamian law, which makes no distinction between medical and recreational use of marijuana.

The possession or use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy, is a criminal offense in The Bahamas and can result in time in prison. While visiting The Bahamas, you are subject to Bahamian law. Drug violators are regularly arrested, even for possession of small quantities. All persons 16 years of age or older in The Bahamas are tried as adults in court. If you are arrested for drug possession, you should expect to spend at least one night, and possibly longer, in custody. Stay away from drug traffickers, who may be often armed and violent. Do not accept packages from people you meet during your stay.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information. Travelers should also be aware that Bahamian laws do not include a right to a public defender in lower courts. Any legal representation is at the expense of the visitor.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in The Bahamas.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accessibility and accommodations in The Bahamas are very different from in the United States. Newer buildings, especially in tourism-centric areas are accessible, but many older buildings are not.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

For more information about customs concernsboating, and wildlife, please visit our website.

Health

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

Medical care is available on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands. However, serious illnesses or injuries might not be treatable locally. Serious health problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars in up-front costs. Outer islands have only small clinics, and medical care is limited.

Ambulance service is available on the major islands, but traffic congestion on New Providence Island can cause delays.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of The Bahamas to ensure the medication is legal in The Bahamas. Always carry your prescription medication in its original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving in The Bahamas is on the left-hand side of the road. Traffic congestion in Nassau is severe, and drivers frequently display aggressive or careless tendencies. Accidents involving pedestrians on New Providence Island are common. Drive defensively and be alert to cars pulling out from side streets. Local practice is to allow this on an individual basis. It is not uncommon to see poorly maintained or excessively loaded vehicles on roadways. Rural roads can be narrow, winding, and in poor condition.

Road flooding occurs frequently in many areas, including Nassau and Freeport, during and after rainstorms. Be alert for unmarked or poorly marked construction zones.

Traffic Laws: Seatbelts are required for drivers and passengers in The Bahamas. Wearing helmets on a scooters and motorbikes is also compulsory.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is available by minibus (known as jitneys) and taxi. Jitneys stop frequently and often without warning at undesignated stops. Taxi fares are based on zones and surcharges can apply for additional passengers and luggage. It is important to agree on a fare prior to departing for the destination.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of The Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of The Bahamas’ Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of The Bahamas’ air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to The Bahamas should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts.  Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in The Bahamas. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: February 23, 2021

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Nassau
P.O. Box N-8197
#42 Queen Street
Nassau, The Bahamas
Telephone
+(242) 322-1181
Emergency
+(242) 322-1181
Fax
null

Bahamas Map