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Bahamas

The Bahamas is a developed, English-speaking Caribbean nation composed of hundreds of islands covering a territory approximately the size of California. Tourism and financial services comprise the two largest sectors of the economy. Independent from the United Kingdom since 1973, The Bahamas is a Commonwealth nation with more than a century-old democratic tradition. The capital, Nassau, is located on New Providence Island. Please read the Department of State Background Notes on The Bahamas for additional information.

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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Bahamas
Continent: Caribbean
Capital City: Nassau
Boundary Countries:
Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Nassau:  Princess Margaret Hospital, Doctors Hospital
Freeport:  Rand Memorial Hospital

Main Cities:

Nassau, Freeport, Matthew Town, South Riding Point

Country Size: 13,940 sq km
Population: 305,655

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)

Currency: Bahamian Dollar (BSD)
Predominant Religions:

Baptist 35.4%, Anglican 15.1%, Roman Catholic 13.5%, Pentecostal 8.1%, Church of God 4.8%, Methodist 4.2%, other Christian 15.2%, none or unspecified 2.9%, other 0.8%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 10 July (1973)
Economic Status:

The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking.

Security:

Royal Bahamian Defense Force: Marines, Air Wing

US Presence:

Americans living or traveling in the Bahamas are encouraged to register with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within the Bahamas.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.
U.S. Embassy Nassau
Queen Street #19
Telephone: 242-322-1181
Emergency after-hours telephone: 242-357-7004
Facsimile: 242-356-7174

Document Requirements:

Travel by Air: All U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport in order to enter or re-enter the United States when travelling be air.  U.S. citizens do not need visas for short trips to The Bahamas for tourist/business purposes. It is important to note that although the Bahamian government only requires proof of citizenship and identity in order to enter The Bahamas, the U.S. government requires that Americans have a valid passport in order to fly home. Most airlines will not permit a U.S. citizen to fly to The Bahamas without a valid U.S. passport and risk getting stranded.

Travel by Sea: Americans may enter the Unites States from The Bahamas by sea using a passport, passport card, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document. Travelers arriving via private watercraft are charged docking fees.

We strongly encourage all American citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel.  American citizens can visit the Department of State website or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports. 
US citizens planning on an extended stay should be prepared to present proof or evidence of financial solvency upon entry to The Bahamas.
Visit the Embassy of The Bahamas website for the most current visa information.
HIV/AIDS restrictions: The Bahamian Ministry of Health has recommended that persons who are HIV-positive not be admitted to The Bahamas. However, Bahamian Immigration does not routinely require testing for persons arriving for less than 30 days. Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for other visitors to and foreign residents of The Bahamas. Please verify this information with the Embassy of The Bahamas before you travel.

Major Airports:

Airports: 64, Airports w/paved runways:  29

Nassau Airport, Bahamas, Nassau International Airport, AP59229, BAHAMAS
Tel: +1 242 277-0209
Fax: +1 242 377-0294
Email: feedback@nas.bs
Website: www.nas.bs

Grand Bahama Airport (FPO/MYGF)
Freeport Airport, Bahamas, PO Box 40916, Freeport, BAHAMAS
Tel: +1 242 352-6020, +1 242 352-7647
Fax: +1 242 352-4504
Telex: FPO 20

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

The water sports and scooter rental industries in the Bahamas are not carefully regulated. Visitors should rent equipment only from reputable operators, and should insist on sufficient training before using the equipment. Every year people are killed or injured by the improper use of scooters, jet-skis, and personal watercraft or by the careless or reckless operation of such equipment by others. You should insist on seeing proof that operators have sufficient medical and liability insurance. Travelers should also invest in low-cost traveler’s insurance that includes medical evacuations, as most American insurance companies do not cover this (please refer to the section on medical facilities in this document for additional information). While the Bahamas has a relatively low crime rate, visitors should exercise caution and good judgment. In the last year the US Embassy has received several reports of sexual assaults, including assaults against teen-age girls. Travelers should avoid walking alone after dark or in isolated areas, and avoid placing themselves in situations where they are alone with strangers.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 24.17 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 65.66 years  (male 62.37/female 69.02)
 

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Rabies, Typhoid
Boosters: tetanus-diptheria, measles

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes in this region.
Cutaneous larval migrans is a risk for travelers with exposures on beaches and leptospirosis is present. There remains very limited risk of schistosomiasis in few areas. Other hazards for travelers include toxic fish poisoning.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

High quality medical care is generally available, but expensive, in Nassau and Freeport. Medical care is limited outside of Nassau and Freeport. Bahamian doctors and hospitals do not usually accept US medical insurance policies and typically expect immediate cash payment for professional services. There is a chronic shortage of blood at Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau, where most emergency surgery is performed.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 3
Referrals: 27
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:
Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  1 + number (there is no international code for The Bahamas)
Internet Country Code:  .bs

 



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Seven Corners is one of the industry's most experienced travel health insurance providers. The company serves leisure, student, business, government and missionary/volunteer travelers. It offers an extensive selection of international medical and travel insurance policies to U.S. citizens traveling overseas, or foreign nationals visiting the United States. Seven Corners has thousands of policy holders and a worldwide network of over 30,000 agents. The company created and maintains the industry's most comprehensive network of international health care providers that includes thousands of doctors, pharmacies and hospitals around the globe. Seven Corners is a member of the United States Travel Insurance Association; is GSA certified and is currently pursuing a SAS 70 Type II compliant designation. In addition to travel medical insurance, Seven Corners also offers health care administration to the government sector. The company is privately held and headquartered just north of Indianapolis in Carmel, IN.