Can I travel to the Bahamas right now? US embassy issues alert

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A security alert was released on January 24 by the US embassy in Nassau, capital…

A security alert was released on January 24 by the US embassy in Nassau, capital of the Bahamas, following a string of 18 murders that have taken place in both tourist and residential areas of the country since the start of 2024. The Bahamas has been assessed as a Level 2 security risk, a rating that also currently applies to Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos.

Main photo: Harborside Resort at Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas (Getty Images)

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People eat and drink at Arawak Cay, known as Fish Fry Street, in NassauPeople eat and drink at Arawak Cay, known as Fish Fry Street, in Nassau
Arawak Cay, known as Fish Fry Street, in Nassau. Visitors are advised to travel in groups after dusk (Alamy)

What’s the latest government advice about travelling to the Bahamas?

The UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice for the Bahamas on January 15. It advises that visitors should not go out alone on foot outside the main tourist areas, and should travel in groups after dusk. It also states that tourists should stay in downtown Nassau, where there are regular police patrols, avoid any unlit areas and take care if travelling on local bus services at night. If you are attacked, the Foreign Office advice is that you should not resist and should comply with any demands, as robbers may have concealed weapons. 

A police officer in Nassau, BahamasA police officer in Nassau, Bahamas
A police officer in Nassau, where there are regular downtown patrols (Alamy)

Why has the US issued a travel alert for the Bahamas?

The US embassy has increased its security risk assessment from Level 1 (“Exercise normal precautions”) to Level 2 (“Exercise increased caution”) following a string of gang-related murders that have been carried out at all hours, including in broad daylight. On this scale, Level 3 advises Americans to reconsider or avoid travel (Egypt, Pakistan and Nigeria currently have this rating), while Level 4 means “do not travel”. For comparison to the Bahamas, other places that have Level 2 warnings include the likes of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Turks and Caicos.

Nassau Harbour Lighthouse on Paradise Island, BahamasNassau Harbour Lighthouse on Paradise Island, Bahamas
Nassau Harbour Lighthouse on Paradise Island (Getty Images)

Is it safe to travel to the Bahamas right now?

Violent crimes and armed robberies have been occurring in both residential and tourist areas, including the cities of Nassau in New Providence and Freeport in Grand Bahama islands. Travellers should use extreme caution if in these areas and avoid the Over the Hill neighbourhood in Nassau. It’s also advisable to take the typical safety precautions — such as leaving jewellery and valuables out of sight and obtaining travel insurance before travelling.

A swimming pig at Pig Beach on Big Major Cay in Exuma, BahamasA swimming pig at Pig Beach on Big Major Cay in Exuma, Bahamas
Visitors to the Bahamas can encounter swimming pigs at Pig Beach on Big Major Cay in Exuma (Alamy)

What are the entry requirements for the Bahamas?

Be mindful that for Brits who travel to the Bahamas from the US, the time they spend in the country counts towards the 90-day limit. US travellers are required to have passports that will remain valid upon departure and have two spare pages for the entry stamp. There are no Covid testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering the Bahamas. 

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