Skip to main content

Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Bahamas

If you’re travelling to the Bahamas, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Entry requirements (visa/passport)
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia

Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling.  Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

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 Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

A number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in the Bahamas.

With the temporary cessation of available flights out of The Bahamas, we are advising that Irish citizens in The Bahamas stay safe and follow local advice/rules. Any requirements for consular assistance can as always be directed through our Honorary Consul or through the Embassy in Ottawa.

Foreign nationals who are presently in The Bahamas have an automatic extension and are not required to register (foreign nationals are automatically registered in Immigration system upon landing). However, should they require further extension/s, once the curfew is lifted and our borders are open, then they can visit the Immigration Department to apply for the same. 

The Bahamas is currently in a 24-hour curfew:

Individuals should not leave their homes, except for essential trips to buy groceries, water, gasoline, or prescription pharmaceutical products, or if they have been designated as an ‘essential worker’. Under the 24-hour curfew, a person may only physically exercise in their own yard, or on the roadways in their immediate neighbourhood.

On Thursday the 23rd of July at 19:00pm, a complete lockdown will again be implemented. This will end at 5am on Friday the 7th of August.

 

During this lockdown, all services are prohibited, with the following exceptions:

  • All hospitals in The Bahamas
  • The Royal Bahamas Defence Force
  • The Royal Bahamas Police Force
  • The media
  • Security Services
  • Hotels with guests
  • Emergency units of core publicly and privately owned public utilities: electricity, water, telecommunications

 

During the lockdown you may not leave the confines of your property, unless you need to purchase food, water, medicine or unless you are an essential worker at one of the above.

 

New Entry Requirements for the Bahamas during Covid-19

Bahamas Entry Criteria as of 24 July 2020

 

1. There are no restrictions on commercial international travel, planes or boats, from any jurisdiction.

 

2. There are no restrictions on private planes or boats from any jurisdiction.

 

3. Subject to any exemption that the Competent Authority of The Bahamas may give to diplomatic personnel, any person or any class of person, Bahamian nationals and residents and visitors entering The Bahamas from any jurisdiction will be placed in either a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine at a designated Government quarantine facility, or a hotel or residence, if approved by Health officials upon arrival at his/her expense. The option for nationals and residents to quarantine at home will be determined by Health officials.

 

4. The national, resident or visitor will be required to undergo a RTPCR COVID 19 molecular diagnostic test at the end of the period of quarantine at his/her expense.

 

5. Nationals and residents may elect to undergo a RTPCR COVID 19 molecular diagnostic test, as his/her own expense, while under quarantine and if the result of the test indicates that he/she has tested negative for COVID 19, that person may be released from the requirement to quarantine and submit to mandatory monitoring using the Government’s monitoring platform.

 

6. Nationals and resident who do not test negative for COVID 19 shall remain in the quarantine facility until the expiry of the 14 day period.

 

7. All passengers must have a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) RT-PCR test result from a sample dated 10 days or less before arrival.

 

8. The requirement for a COVID 19 RTPCR test does not apply to nationals, residents and visitors who are 10 years and younger.

 

9. All passengers must complete a "Bahamas Health Visa" application at www.travel.gov.bs before departure. They must upload their negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) RT-PCR test result or select relevant exemption category, and provide their contact information.

 

10. All passengers must present the approved "Bahamas Health Visa" application at check-in and upon arrival.

 

11. Airline crew staying in the Bahamas overnight must complete a "Bahamas Health Visa" application at travel.gov.bs before departure. They must present the approved "Bahamas Health Visa" application and employment identification upon arrival. 

 

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.

Do:
• 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

Don’t:
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

Ministry of Health, Government of Bahamas

Government of Bahamas

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

Zika Virus

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. 

Emergency assistance

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

Terrorism

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

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.

Petty theft

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.

Reporting crime

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.

Driving

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).

Taxis

Visitors should use only clearly marked taxis with yellow license plates.

Hurricane season

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

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 drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Health

Health

Vaccinations

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for this country.

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.

Banking

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%. 

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

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
Ottawa
Ontario K1P 5G4
Canada

Tel: +1 613 233 6281
Fax: +1 613 233 5835

Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 12.00pm and from 2.00pm until 4.00pm

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. William Mills
Honorary Consul of Ireland,
34 Collins Avenue,
PO Box SS-5091,
Nassau,
Bahamas

Tel: + 1 242 397 2100
Fax: + 1 242 323 3720

Email: Email us