Bahrain is welcoming travellers from some destinations with no quarantine.
Just an hour's flight from the UAE, the country could be a good pick for those wanting a change of scenery without having to travel too far from home.
Open to citizens and residents as well as travellers from the GCC and those who are eligible for a visa on arrival, the kingdom is also part of a vaccine travel corridor with the UAE. This allows vaccinated passengers to travel between the two countries without the need for quarantine in either destination.
If you're considering taking a trip to the tiny Gulf island in the near future, this guide answers any questions you may have, from the precautionary measures that need to be followed, to the restrictions in place once you arrive.
Who can fly to Bahrain?
Entry to Bahrain is currently restricted to Bahraini citizens and residents, GCC citizens and passengers eligible to obtain a visa on arrival or an eVisa.
Click here to discover which passport holders qualify for visas on arrival. Entry is suspended for travellers from red list countries, which includes Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Only Bahraini citizens and residents can return from these destinations.
Diplomats, military personnel, airline crew and holders of official, service or UN passports can also fly to Bahrain. All arriving passengers must hold a return ticket and sufficient funds to cover their stay in Bahrain.
Do I need to quarantine in Bahrain?
Travellers who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will need to quarantine in Bahrain for 10 days.
Citizens and residents of the UAE and other GCC countries who can provide proof that they have received the full course of a Covid-19 vaccine through approved applications do not need to quarantine, but must undergo Covid-19 testing procedures in Bahrain, including on-arrival tests and follow-up tests on days five and 10.
Passengers travelling from other destinations that have recognised vaccine certificates and who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 do not need to self-isolate, but must take a PCR test on arrival, and two more tests on days five and 10 as well.
Currently, certificates issued by Greece, Hungary, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Seychelles, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE are accepted, provided that the last dose was administered at least 14 days before departure.
Travellers from destinations with vaccine certificates not recognised by the Bahrain government must follow the rules for non-vaccinated travellers, including quarantining for 10 days. Children under 12 need to quarantine for five days.
Exempted travellers flying to the kingdom from destinations on Bahrain's red list must quarantine for a period of 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
What do I need to do before I fly to Bahrain?
All travellers flying to Bahrain must complete a health declaration form before flying. Passengers must also download and activate the BeAware Bahrain app.
Tourists who need an online visa must apply and have their application approved before they can fly to Manama.
Negative PCR test results are required for anyone flying to Bahrain who is unvaccinated. Tests must be taken a maximum of 48 hours before flight departure times. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from testing requirements. Some airlines may require travellers to have a PCR test before boarding, regardless of vaccination status.
What rules are in place at the airport?
Covid-19 testing is in place at Bahrain airport. Citizens and residents with proof of vaccination or recovery through the BeAware Bahrain app do not need to undergo PCR testing on arrival, unless arriving from a red list country.
GCC travellers with proof of vaccination are also exempt. All other travellers must have a Covid‑19 PCR test (at their own expense) on arrival.
The fee for this is 36 Bahraini dinar (Dh350), which covers a test on arrival and two further tests, one to be conducted on the fifth day and another on the 10th day. The fee is the same no matter how long travellers are staying in Bahrain, and there is no minimum stay requirement.
Arriving passengers who do not have exemption from quarantine rules must remain in homes or government-appointed hotel accommodation for 10 days. Another PCR test will be taken on day 10 and a negative result will end this quarantine period. Travellers can pay for their tests before arriving via the BeAware Bahrain app. Cash is also accepted, but this may cause delays.
Which airlines are flying to Bahrain?
Emirates is operating flights from Dubai to Bahrain. The airline is currently flying 14 times a week to the kingdom. Flydubai is also operating flights.
From Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways has resumed twice-daily flights to Bahrain. Air Arabia operates to Manama from Sharjah and Gulf Air, the national airline of Bahrain, is also flying regularly to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will begin flights to Bahrain from Thursday, offering low-cost, one-way fares from Dh129. The newest airline in the UAE will operate three times per week to the kingdom.
What restrictions are in place in Bahrain?
From Friday, Bahrain has been on green alert status. This means that vaccinated and non-vaccinated people can access shops, swimming pools, malls, gyms and restaurants.
Other places such as cinemas, conferences, events and indoor sporting events remain open only to vaccinated and recovered citizens, residents and visitors who must present proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus.
Children under 12 are exempt from these rules.
Hotels have reopened with social-distancing rules and safety measures in place. In accordance with local health authorities, some restaurant and facility services and hours may also be modified. Face masks are mandatory in all public places.
What do I need to do when flying to the UAE from Bahrain?
Departing travellers need to be at Bahrain International Airport at least three hours before their flight to allow for additional screenings. Access to the terminal is limited to passengers and staff only, and temperature screening is mandatory at entry points and before boarding flights.
Bahrain is on Abu Dhabi's green list of destinations from where travellers can fly without the need for quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Travellers will need a negative PCR test to fly back to the UAE and those staying in Abu Dhabi must follow the most up-to-date PCR testing requirements for the emirate.