The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is working on a reopening strategy, known as the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, alongside the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Committee, to welcome travelers back to the country. The collaboration will work to reopen the tourism sector and resume international commercial travel beginning July 1.
The approved plan will be used as a comprehensive health and safety guide and post-COVID-19 protocol to be used across the country. The plan will include procedures for everything from entering and departing the Bahamas though airports and seaports, as well as the Clean & Pristine certification program, implemented throughout the country’s consumer-facing tourism locales and activities, including hotels, restaurants and other public touchpoints.
The phased approach will work to protect tourists and locals alike.
Phase 1 begins June 15, allowing international boaters, yachters and private aviation to return to the Bahamas. Hotels will re-open so staff can begin working on measures required to welcome guests by Phase 2. The smaller groups allow for a controlled, easily measured approach to safe travel.
Also during Phase 1, commercial airlines can fly Bahamian citizens, including legal residents, homeowners qualifying for economic permanent residency and immediate family members and spouses. Returning citizens still have to register at a Bahamas embassy and test negative for COVID-19.
Phase 2 will begin July 1, and will see international travel resume, including both domestic and international commercial airlines; vacation rentals and hotels; and all transportation, including taxis, buses and jitneys.
The remaining phases and reopening dates are to be determined.
Travelers will be expected to continue social distancing, regularly wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer, as well as pack appropriate PPE and face masks — the accessory is just as essential to the trip as sunscreen and swimsuits.
Travelers should also expect temperature screenings for all incoming visitors by healthcare personnel at airports and seaports, and will be required to wear a facemask in air and sea terminals, through security and customs screenings and at baggage claim.
Reopening will continue to be monitored by health officials and the Bahamas government. Dates are subject to change. Read more here on the reopening and safety measures travelers and locals can expect in the Bahamas.
Wearing sunscreen at the beach is a given, especially for little ones running in and out of the water — and anyone who forgets that usually regrets it with a vengeance the next day. One aspect of sunscreen I admittedly didn’t think about until just a few years ago is how detrimental its impact is on marine life and reefs. Oxybenzone is a chemical found in most mainstream sunscreens — it works to prevent sun damage, but is also carcinogenic and harmful to coral. The chemical makes coral more susceptible to bleaching and damages its DNA, interfering with reproduction and killing dependent marine life in the process.
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
IMAGINE SETTING SAIL IN AN EXOTIC, far-flung destination, just you and your family or group of friends aboard a private yacht. The sun warms the deck, a soft breeze dances off the water, and an über-attentive crew caters to your every whim while the personal chef whips up the finest of the local cuisine with all of your culinary preferences top of mind. All the while, the captain navigates the yacht into secluded coves; to pristine, seemingly undiscovered beaches; or even to the hottest spots along the coast for a night out on the town.
An interesting and accidental beneficial side effect of recent travel bans is that large swaths of the world affected by over-tourism are beginning to heal themselves. Major cities from Los Angeles to London and Beijing are reporting their best air quality in years with less nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide emitted by cars and industry. The canals in Venice are so clear, schools of fish and even a dolphin were easily spotted by locals — all of this and more taking place before Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in April.
By Hainan Airlines
When you want to get away without getting behind the wheel, Amtrak has news for you — and budget-friendly news, at that. Enjoy the ride this summer to your next destinations from the comfort of a private Roomette room on Amtrak with a two-for-one deal on select one-way routes.