On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added five new destinations to its “high” risk COVID-19 travel category.
Of the five, the most notable for travelers is the Bahamas, which goes from Level 2: Moderate to Level 3: High, the highest level outside of Level 4: Special Circumstances. The others are Belize, Eswatini, Montserrat, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to the Bahamas,” the CDC’s advisory reads. “If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, avoid travel to the Bahamas.”
The upgrade comes almost two months to the day that the CDC dropped The Bahamas to Level 2. Still, the move to Level 3 puts the Bahamas in a category with most other, major international destinations for North American travelers including Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Israel, the United Kingdom, and more.
The CDC recommends that travelers heading to any of the Level 3 destinations get tested with a viral test as close to departure time as possible and be fully aware of any requirements at the destination.
The Bahamas, since early March, is no longer requiring COVID-19 Rapid Antigen tests on the fifth day of travel regardless of vaccination status. All visitors still need to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa, which includes a negative Rapid or PCR COVID-19 test result for fully vaccinated visitors and a PCR test requirement for unvaccinated visitors (all need to be taken within three days of arrival).
All travelers are able to travel inter-island without the need for another test.
According to Worldometers, The Bahamas has had a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, though the current uptrend is still far below the highs from January—on May 20, The Bahamas reported 82 new cases, its highest daily number since January when the daily number reached as high as 1,206.