Bahamas Country Report
The passage of hurricanes Dorian and Humberto in September 2019 caused severe destruction, especially in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, affecting infrastructure and utilities. The government’s management of post-hurricane reconstruction over the next year will affect civil unrest risks. Environmental protests have become more likely since the approval of oil exploration laws in 2016 and since VAT was increased in July 2018. State contract alteration risks are somewhat elevated, as FNM’s deputy leader KP Turnquest has said that his party would review, amend, and potentially cancel contracts if they were economically disadvantageous; however, the government is unlikely to deter foreign investment following the September hurricanes.
The risk of terrorist attacks is low. There are no domestic terrorist groups with the intention or capability to conduct terrorist attacks in the Bahamas. In 2018, the Bahamas passed a new Anti-Terrorism Act, updating legislation originally passed in 2004. In January 2017, then prime minister Perry Christie denied the accusation that the Bahamas held terrorism links with the Islamic State.
Homicide incidents fell steadily by 26% from 123 in 2014 to 91 in 2018, with over half of incidents related to organised crime and drug sales. Following the passage of Hurricane Dorian in August 2019, looting and home invasions are more likely. Although crime levels do not pose a serious risk to foreign investment, visitors are advised to take security precautions when in urban areas, especially the Sand Trap area in Nassau.
The risk of civil or interstate war in Bahamas is low. There is no known group inside the country with intention to use force to change the government. Drug traffickers present a limited challenge to the state’s monopoly on the use of force, but these criminal gangs do not have political aspirations. Disputes over migration issues with Haiti and the countries’ historical maritime boundaries with the United States and Cuba are unlikely to lead to war.
Vaccines Required to Enter the Country
Yellow fever: There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in the Bahamas. However, the government requires proof of vaccination for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease.
Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers
Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).
Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers
Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.
Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).
Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers
Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.
Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).
The Bahamas is vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes during the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which officially runs from June 1 to November 30. Two of the most destructive storms to hit the archipelago in recent memory have been Hurricane Joaquin (October 2015) and Hurricane Matthew (October 2016), which together caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, though no deaths. The country's southern islands were also struck by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, causing significant damage in some places (e.g. Ragged Island and Acklins Island), though sparing the capital and the areas most popular with visitors. Information regarding current or forecast storms is available on the US National Hurricane Center's website.
Traffic accidents are relatively common, in part due to reckless driving habits and a general non-enforcement of traffic laws, including blood-alcohol limits.
Flooding is relatively common and can render roads impassable.
Cars drive on the left side of the road in this British Commonwealth.
The climate in the Bahamas is temperate throughout the year due to trade winds that blow across the archipelago all year long. Temperatures range from 32°C in the summer to 16°C in the winter. The country also enjoys 320 sunny days per year.
The rainy season lasts from May until November during which time brief rain showers generally occur at night.
|Country Code:||+1 242|
Voltage: 120 V ~ 60 Hz