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The Bahamas today issued an emergency order that will prohibit cruise ships from entering any Bahamian port if they carry passengers who aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on board.
The rule even extends to private islands, such as Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay, Disney’s Castaway Cay, Carnival’s Half Moon Cay, Princess’ Princess Cays, MSC’s Ocean Cay and Norwegian’s Great Stirrup Cay.
The new order, which was signed by Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and posted to the Bahamas Customs & Excise Department website today, is set to take effect on September 3 and remain in place through at least November 1.
Prior to entering port, each cruise vessel’s captain will be required to transmit a “crew and passenger manifest” that includes the vaccination status of everyone on board for review by the Port Medical Officer.
Children under the age of 12 (making them ineligible to receive vaccines) and potential passengers with a valid medical reason to remain unvaccinated are exempt from the new rule. There are also provisions to waive the requirement if a cruise ship needs to dock in emergency circumstances.
Neither do the terms of the order apply to a ship’s crew, contractors and any “non-revenue passengers”, consistent with the protocol that was previously agreed upon by the Bahamian government and cruise lines, USA Today reported.
Upon arriving in the Bahamas, cruise passengers are also subject to any testing requirements imposed by their cruise line and approved by the “Competent Authority”.