The Bahamas has been taking the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously. They have recently announced new coronavirus protocols for foreign and local boats. These latest protocols were released just ahead of another lockdown set for this week.
Foreign boaters have been ordered to remain in place while in the country. That means that passengers on these boats have to stay on board and avoid all interpersonal contact with people onshore. They are allowed to receive food and provisions, but these must be dropped off without contact.
Foreign boats also cannot travel between islands, cannot take on passengers or visitors, and cannot transfer from one place to another. Similar restrictions have also been placed on Bahamian boat owners.
Foreign boaters have also been urged by the government to leave the country.
“In view of the significant restrictions in place, foreign boats are encouraged by the government to depart The Bahamas and may do so, weather and safe navigation permitting,” the protocol reads.“A foreign boat departing The Bahamas must proceed directly and non-stop to its destination / home port outside The Bahamas.”
All foreign boats, and Bahamian boats chartered to foreigners, should declare and identify themselves to government officials. Boats that cannot leave the Bahamas should contact the government for an alternative plan.
These boating restrictions are just the latest in a series of government regulations aiming to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Bahamas has reported 46 confirmed coronavirus cases and had 8 deaths.
In addition to new boating protocols, there have been travel limitations to the country. There is also a curfew, restrictions on private gatherings, closure of many businesses, and limited hours for essential shopping.