How is Jamaica different from the Bahamas?

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Current

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
You are warned against unnecessary tourist trips to the Bahamas.

Epidemiological situation

The Bahamas are harder hit again by COVID-19. The number of new infections is more than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days, which is why the Bahamas is classified as a risk area.

The national Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.

entry

An electronic Bahamas Health Visa is required for entry, for which a negative PCR test must be uploaded, which must not be older than five days upon entry.
In addition, a rapid antigen test is carried out upon entry and four days after entry. Children under 10 years of age and flight crews for short stays are exempt from this. From May 1, 2021, people who have received their full COVID-19 vaccination dose at least two weeks prior to entry are also exempt from testing requirements.

Entry is only possible at approved airports and seaports. Cruises as well as entry with your own or rented yachts and boats are possible.

Approved airports are: Nassau, Freeport, Marsh Harbor, North Eleuthera, Georgetown (Exuma), Bimini (and Cat Cay) and San Andros (Andros).

Approved seaports are: Nassau (Atlantis, Bay Street Marina, Lyford Cay, Albany); Grand Bahama (West End - Old Bahama Bay and Freeport - Lucaya); Abaco (Marsh Harbor Government Dock); Eleuthera (Spanish Wells Marina); Berry Islands (Chubb Cay Club); Bimini (Big Game Club and Cat Cay Club); Exuma (Georgetown Government Dock).

Transit and onward travel, travel between the islands

The electronic Bahamas Health Visa must be presented to travel between the islands. Travel from some islands are subject to restrictions that may change at short notice.

Travel connections

Travel to approved airports and seaports takes place to a limited extent. There can be breakdowns at any time with both flight and ferry connections.

Restrictions in the country

The state of emergency will apply in the Bahamas until May 23, 2021. The emergency laws are available on the Prime Minister's website and are continuously updated. There is a night curfew. Further restrictions in daily life such as closings of shops and facilities must be expected.

Several official checkpoints have been established on the islands; Travelers must be able to identify themselves there at all times with a valid photo ID.
Access to beaches, national parks and other attractions may be restricted.

Special regulations apply to the island of Abaco, see Special features in the regions.

Failure to comply with these measures can result in fines or imprisonment.

Hygiene rules

On all islands of the Bahamas, mask requirements and distance rules apply in public places. Hands must be disinfected before entering shops.

Special features in the regions

On Abaco There is still a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. during which only essential government and health facilities operate. Social events are strictly prohibited on the island until further notice; church services are excluded; Weddings and funerals can take place with up to 10 guests. Beaches and parks are closed on the island until further notice, restaurants are only allowed to offer take-away food.

  • Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
  • Find out more about detailed measures and additional information on the website of the Bahamian Ministry of Health and the official tourism website of the Bahamian government.
  • In the event of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected people, contact the health department responsible for your whereabouts.
  • Before you travel, contact your airline to stop and get confirmation that the flight is actually taking place.
  • Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the responsible company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

security

terrorism

Domestic situation

The domestic political situation in the Bahamas is calm.

  • Find out about the local media.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Follow the instructions of local security guards.

crime

In addition to petty crime, there is also violent crime in the Bahamas. Especially at night in remote and dark areas on the islands of Grand Bahama and New Providence, the risk of robbery, handbag theft, fraud and occasional sexual assault has increased, including with the use of knockout drops.

  • Avoid unaccompanied walks in the dark.
  • Be especially careful in remote areas and on deserted beaches.
  • Do not leave food and drinks unattended.
  • Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
  • Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
  • Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, bus stations, markets and bars, and watch out for your valuables.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.

Natural disasters

In the Caribbean, the hurricane season is from May to (November. During this time, tropical storms and intense rainfall can be expected, which can lead to landslides, flooding and considerable impairment in travel and infrastructure.

At the beginning of September 2019, Hurricane Dorian caused severe damage as a major hurricane of the highest category with prolonged heavy rain and strong winds, especially on the northwestern islands of the Bahamas Abaco and Grand Bahama. There are still considerable impairments in the electricity and water supply, telecommunications and also medical and emergency care. The tourist infrastructure is currently largely inoperative. The reconstruction work will continue.

Travel info

Responsible diplomatic mission

There is no consular German representation in the Bahamas.
The German embassy in Kingston, Jamaica is responsible for the Bahamas.
Passport and identity card matters for the Bahamas are handled by the German Consulate General in Miami, Florida.
In emergencies, travelers can contact the German honorary consul in Nassau on site.

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

There is ferry service between the inhabited islands, on these taxis, rental cars and minibuses on Nassau / Paradise Island.
There is left-hand traffic. The road network is relatively well developed. Because of the many potholes, stray animals and the unusual driving style, caution is advised in road traffic. Motorcycles and scooters should only be used with appropriate protective clothing despite the tropical temperatures.

There are few reliable regulations for excursions and sporting activities and safety standards are often correspondingly low. Adequate insurance from the organizer and minimum standards of safety precautions should be ensured.

An airport tax is payable upon departure. It is strongly recommended to check in at the airport approx. 2 hours before the scheduled departure to make sure that your own reservation is not canceled due to a possible overbooking.

Driving license

The German driving license in EU format is sufficient for tourist stays.

LGBTIQ

Legal specifics

Drug use and trafficking, even in the smallest quantities, are strictly followed by the authorities. Under no circumstances should it be assumed that foreigners will be spared persecution. High fines and imprisonment are imposed for violating drug laws; a release on bail is usually not possible. When leaving the country, luggage (including: larger envelopes) should never be carried by third parties under their own name. Your own luggage should be constantly supervised in the waiting time before departure so that consignments from third parties cannot be added unnoticed.

Money / credit cards

The local currency is the Bahamian dollar (BSD). In the Bahamas, common currencies can be exchanged in hotels and in most banks. Some banks only change US dollars. Payment by credit card (American Express, Mastercard, Visa) is relatively widespread.

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information going beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: Yes
  • Identity card: No
  • Provisional identity card: No
  • Children's passport: Yes

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for at least six months after the end of the trip.

visa

German citizens do not need a visa for entry and tourist stays of up to 90 days.

Minors

There are no known special regulations for the entry of minors.

Entry and exit via the USA

Import regulations

The import of weapons (including alarm pistols, diving pistols and boat signal pistols) is only permitted with a special import permit.

health

Current

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.

measles

In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.

  • As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.

Vaccination protection

No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany. When entering from a yellow fever area or staying for more than 12 hours in transit through a yellow fever area, all persons over the age of one year must provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination. The Bahamas itself is not a yellow fever infection area.

  • Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute's vaccination calendar up to date.
  • Vaccinations against hepatitis A are recommended as travel vaccinations, and in the case of long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B and rabies.
  • Note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendation leaflet.
  • The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.

Zika virus infection

The predominantly diurnal AedesMosquito-borne infection with Zika viruses can lead to malformations in children during pregnancy and neurological complications in adults.

Dengue fever

Dengue viruses are nationwide by diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is usually accompanied by fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs. In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see information sheet on dengue fever.

  • To avoid dengue fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.

Chikungunya fever

Chikungunya viruses are diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is characterized by a high fever and possibly prolonged joint and muscle pain. The symptoms can often not be clearly distinguished from other mosquito-borne diseases. Chikungunya fever does not always heal without consequences, and there are seldom long-term rheumatoid-like symptoms. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy, see leaflet Chikungunya fever.

  • To avoid Chikungunya fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.

malaria

The last locally acquired malaria cases were documented in 2011. No malaria prophylaxis is recommended.

HIV / AIDS

There is always a high risk of HIV transmission through sexual contact, drug use (unclean syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions.

  • Always use condoms, especially on casual acquaintances.

Diarrheal diseases

Diarrheal illnesses are common travel illnesses, see information sheet on diarrheal illnesses. However, most diarrheal diseases can be avoided through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene. Therefore, to protect your health, please observe the following basic information:

  • Only drink water of safe origin, never tap water. A previously opened bottle can be identified more easily by purchasing carbonated bottled water.
  • If possible, use drinking water to wash dishes and brush your teeth when you're out and about.
  • If bottled water is not available, use filtered, disinfected, or boiled water.
  • Cook or peel food yourself.
  • Make sure you keep flies away from your food.
  • Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, but always before preparing and eating.
  • If possible, disinfect your hands with liquid disinfectant.

Ciguatera

Ciguatera is fish poisoning that can occur after consuming marine fish in tropical waters. The fish ingest poisonous algae, which can also lead to severe poisoning in humans. There are no changes to the fish themselves, see Ciguatera leaflet.

  • Pay attention to local warnings.

Medical supplies

Medical care is relatively good, but was affected in the northwest of the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. The restoration of all medical infrastructures will continue there.

  • Take out travel health and repatriation insurance for the duration of your stay abroad. The German Liaison Office for Health Insurance - Abroad provides detailed information.
  • Before you travel, seek personal advice from tropical medicine advice centers, tropical medicine specialists or travel medicine specialists and adjust your vaccination protection, even if you have already experienced the tropics from other regions. Corresponding doctors can be found e.g. B. via the DTG.

In addition to the general disclaimer, please note:

  • All information is intended for the information of medically trained. They are not a substitute for the consultation of a doctor.
  • The recommendations are tailored to direct entry from Germany to a travel destination, especially for longer stays on site.For shorter trips, entries from third countries and trips to other areas of the country, deviations may apply.
  • All information is always dependent on the individual circumstances of the traveler and may require medical advice.
  • In spite of the best possible efforts, the medical information is always just a consultation offer. They cannot cover all medical aspects, eliminate all doubts or always be completely up-to-date. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Country information for your travel destination

Here you will find the addresses of the responsible diplomatic missions and information on politics and bilateral relations with Germany.

More

Further information for your trip

The global threat of terrorist attacks and kidnappings remains unchanged.

Since September 2014, the terrorist organizations "Al Qaeda" and "Islamic State" (IS) have been threatening with attacks against various countries and their nationals. There were a number of attacks with firearms, explosives, kidnappings and hostage-taking.

Even if there are currently no specific indications of a threat to German interests abroad, it cannot be ruled out that German nationals or German institutions abroad will also become targets of acts of terrorist violence.

Places with a symbolic character come into question as possible targets. These include well-known sights, government and administrative buildings, transport infrastructure (especially airplanes, trains, ships, buses), economic and tourism centers, hotels, markets, religious meeting places and generally larger gatherings of people.

The level of terrorist threat differs from country to country. There is a particular risk of an attack in countries and regions in which attacks have already been carried out repeatedly or in which they can be carried out relatively easily due to a lack of effective security measures, or in which terrorists have the support of the local population.

More detailed information about the terrorist threat can be found in the country-specific travel and safety information. These are checked regularly and adjusted if necessary.

The risk of falling victim to an attack is still comparatively low compared to other risks that travel abroad entails, such as accidents, illness or ordinary crime. Nevertheless, travelers should be aware of the risk.

The Federal Foreign Office strongly recommends that all travelers behave in a safety-conscious and appropriate manner. Before and during a trip, travelers should carefully inform themselves about the conditions in their country of travel, behave appropriately, follow the local media and report suspicious incidents (e.g. unattended baggage in airports or train stations, suspicious behavior by people) to the local police or security authorities .

German nationals are recommended to register in the Foreign Office's "Elefand" crisis prevention list, regardless of their country or the length of their stay abroad:
Crisis preparedness list

Please clarify with your health insurance company whether there is adequate health insurance coverage for your trip abroad, which also covers the costs of a rescue flight to Germany.

Without adequate insurance cover, the costs necessary on site (e.g. treatment or hospital costs, flight home) are generally to be borne by the person concerned and can quickly use up all of your savings.

It is common in many countries that the costs invoiced by doctors or hospitals have to be settled or even advanced before discharge. It can also not be ruled out that the doctor / hospital will obtain a refusal to leave the country for the patient if the bill is not paid.