- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Entry requirements (visa/passport)
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation:
Avoid non-essential travel until further notice:
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.
If you are currently travelling outside of Ireland:
Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate. For this reason, where commercial flights are still an option, we recommend that people who wish to do so make arrangements to return to Ireland as soon as possible.
We are working with airlines to show maximum flexibility to those passengers who need to change their existing flight arrangements. Where commercial flights are no longer available, we are working side-by-side with our international partners to identify alternative options where possible.
It may not be feasible or possible for everyone who wants to travel back to Ireland to do so in the short term. We ask Irish citizens remaining abroad to make decisions that safeguard their health and well-being and that they follow local public health and safety requirements. We ask that they remain in close contact with family, friends and their local Irish Embassy or Consulate.
We know that this is a stressful situation for citizens and our embassy network is working around the clock to provide people with all the information and assistance that we can, bearing in mind the situation is unfolding across multiple countries and is not one under our control.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days. Check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.
Where to go for more information:
We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and especially their Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Latest Travel Alert
COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus
A number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in the Bahamas.
An emergency order has been put in place effective 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and which will expire at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, unless otherwise stated. Preventative restrictions include:
• No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.
• All airports including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs) shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor unless written permission of the Competent Authority has been granted.
• All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
• Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: outgoing flights or ships, cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
• All international visitors currently in The Bahamas are urged to immediately work with their airline to make travel arrangements to safely return home. Those who choose to remain in The Bahamas should prepare to do so for an indefinite period of time.
• All residents will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family, except for those who have been deemed essential workers, or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police.
• Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel; as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet (6ft.) must be followed at all times while outside the home.
• All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above.
If you are in the Bahamas, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below.
Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.
HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
There is currently an outbreak of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens especially those with a weakened immune system or women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/ .
Extreme Weather in the Caribbean Region
The Atlantic hurricane season generally runs from June to November each year and can also affect the eastern and southern USA with heavy rain, flooding and extremely high winds.
Citizens with plans to be in the affected region during this period should consider the need to travel based on information relating to extreme weather projections.
Because there is no Irish Embassy in the Bahamas we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency situation. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consulate in Nassau or the Irish Embassy in Ottawa.
EU Directive on Consular Protection
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.
Our tips for safe travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Although the threat from terrorism in Bahamas is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Crime remains relatively low in Bahamas but you should take sensible precautions:
•Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
•Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
•Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
•Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
•Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
Beware of pickpockets, muggers and bag snatchers, especially in areas where large numbers of people crowd together. Keep all valuables safe, secure and out of sight.
It’s not advisable to walk outside the main hotels, tourist areas, beaches and downtown Nassau, particularly after dark. The motive for attacks on tourists is usually robbery. In such cases, don’t attempt to resist.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in the Bahamas, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Ottawa.
If you’re planning to drive in the Bahamas, you should be extremely careful. Traffic keeps to the left as in Ireland, however, most vehicles in the Bahamas are imported from the United States and are therefore left hand drive. If you want to drive:
•Bring your international or full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
•Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
•Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Visitors should use only clearly marked taxis with yellow license plates.
The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from July to October. You should pay close attention to local and international weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Always monitor local and international weather updates for the region by accessing, for example, the Weather Channel, or the US National Hurricane Centre website.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter the Bahamas. However, if you’re unsure of the entry requirements, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the Bahamas. You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.
As a tourist destination, international credit/debit cards all work on Bahamian ATM/ POS systems – some bank and casino ATM’s will also dispense US Dollars for international/ non-Bahamian cards.
The Bahamian Dollar is technically on a parity ratio of 1:1 , in respect of the US Dollar, but the Bahamas Central Bank does apply a Currency Exchange charge of approx. 2%.
If you need urgent assistance outside of working hours Monday to Thursday, you can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.
If you need urgent assistance during the weekend or on a public holiday, contact the Embassy and leave a message.
Embassy of Ireland
Suite 1105 (11th Floor)
130 Albert Street
Ontario K1P 5G4
Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 12.00pm and from 2.00pm until 4.00pm
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr. William Mills
Honorary Consul of Ireland,
34 Collins Avenue,
PO Box SS-5091,
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.