Bahamas

Bahamas

Use High Level of Caution

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas consists of 29 islands and hundreds of cays and islets and is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti). The population is about 315,000 people.

The Bahamas gained independence from Great Britain in 1973 and remains a Commonwealth country. The government is a constitutional parliamentary democracy.

The economy depends mainly on tourism, and the financial service sector is also important to the Bahamian economy. In the Bahamas, there is no tax on income and capital gains, and no wealth or value added tax. The US dollar is commonly accepted.

The Bahamas is a popular vacation spot known for beautiful beaches, beautiful waters and a mild climate. African and European colonial traditions have influenced Bahamian customs and culture.

Currency BSD: Bahamian dollar
Language English. Bahamian creole also spoken.
Capital Nassau
Recent Alerts 8
Latest Alert September 13, 2019 - A New Tropical Depression Threatens the Bahamas

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Bahamas. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A may be a risk in the Bahamas.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B may be a risk in the Bahamas.

Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

Ciguatera poisoning occurs sporadically in the Bahamas.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in the Bahamas.

Chikungunya Fever

Although the mosquito vector that can transmit this disease is present in this country, no outbreaks have been reported, and the risk for the traveller is low.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in this country. However, this country requires all persons greater than 1 year of age to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country where yellow fever occurs, or if transiting for more than 12 hours in an airport in a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission. Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago are exempted from this requirement.

Typhoid Fever

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Rabies

Rabies may be present in bats. Vaccination may be considered for travellers who might come in contact with bats.

Zika Fever

Zika fever may occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Bahamas.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever in this country. However, this country requires all persons greater than 1 year of age to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country where yellow fever occurs, or if transiting for more than 12 hours in an airport in a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission. Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago are exempted from this requirement.

Rabies Vaccine

Rabies may be present in bats. Vaccination may be considered for travellers who might come in contact with bats.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Bahamas.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Anti-malarial medication is generally not recommended for travellers to the Great Exuma Island.

Safety and Security in Bahamas

Emergency Numbers

911
919

Personal Safety

There are high levels of crime in the Bahamas, mainly on New Providence and Grand Bahama. Incidents of armed violent crime have been reported in both residential and tourist areas of New Providence and Grand Bahama, including in Nassau and Freeport, and robberies have been reported even in cruise ship terminals. Always be alert and vigilant in your surroundings. Keep valuables secured and out of sight to avoid becoming a target for theft. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Exercise caution at ATMs. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Do not walk alone in areas that are away from downtown Nassau, main hotels and tourist areas, and beaches. Avoid walking after dark, and avoid non-tourist areas of Nassau.

There are frequent reports of sexual assault, including at hotels, on cruise ships, in casinos, etc. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never let your drink out of your sight, including in tourist resorts. Minimize safety risk by avoiding excessive drinking or drug use. There have been reports of sexual assault by jet ski operators, regardless of whether they are licensed or unlicensed.

Road travel can be unsafe due to flooding, traffic congestion, and drivers that may not adhere to standard driving rules.

Be cautious when renting and using water sports equipment. Safety standards may not be adequate.

There are severe penalties for drug offenses.

Keep your passport and travel documents in a safe place, but carry photocopies with you.

Hurricane season is June through November. During this time, monitor local weather reports closely. Flooding, landslides, major damage to infrastructure and disruption to travel plans may result.

The culture of the Bahamas is conservative, and public displays of affection are not generally considered to be socially acceptable, whether for opposite-sex or for same-sex couples. Although same-sex relations have been legal since 1991, members of the LGBTI community should be aware that there may be a lack of tolerance towards same-sex behaviour. Everyone is encouraged to dress and behave conservatively.

Ensure travel and medical insurance is acquired before departing. The Bahamas have limited medical facilities and, in the case of severe injury or illness, evacuation may be required.

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