Bahrain travel guide: everything you need to know as the kingdom updates entry rules

Travellers will only need to take one PCR test when flying to the Gulf island

Bahrain has updated its travel rules, so travellers will only need to take one PCR test when flying to the island. Getty Images
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Bahrain is welcoming vaccinated travellers from several destinations with no quarantine, and fewer PCR testing requirements once in the kingdom.

Only an hour's flight from the UAE, the country may be a nice choice for anyone 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?

Travellers flying to Bahrain must complete an online health declaration and download the BeAware Bahrain app. Photo: Four Seasons

Entry to Bahrain is currently open 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 South Africa, Namibia and Nigeria. 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?

Cityscape of the hotels, skyscrapers and development along the 'Al Corniche' and the 'Diplomatic Area' of Manama in Bahrain illuminated at night.

Travellers who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will need to quarantine in Bahrain for seven days. This applies to anyone aged 12 years and over and isolation can take place at a private residence, hotel or other places of stay that has been leased or owned by the traveller or a family member.

This also applies to vaccinated travellers who do not have green shield in the BeAware App.

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 on-arrival Covid-19 testing procedures in Bahrain.

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 also take a PCR test on arrival.

Currently, certificates issued by GCC countries, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Seychelles and any country from where travellers are eligible for a visa-on-arrival are recognised, 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 seven days.

Exempted travellers flying to the kingdom from destinations on Bahrain's red list must quarantine for a period of 10 days in an approved hotel or at home, regardless of 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. It can also be filled in via the BeAware Bahrain app before arrival.

Tourists who need an online visa must apply and have their application approved before they can fly to the island.

Negative PCR test results are required for anyone flying to Bahrain, regardless of vaccination status. Tests must be taken a maximum of 72 hours before flight departure times. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from testing requirements. Travellers from specific countries may need to take the test 48 before departure, so check the latest requirements with your airline before you fly.

What rules are in place at the airport?

Covid-19 testing is in place at Bahrain airport for all travellers. The fee for this is 12 Bahraini dinars ($31).

Travellers should self-isolate until they receive the results of their on-arrival test.

Previously, vaccinated arrivals were required to take PCR tests on arrival, followed by more tests on the fifth and 10th days of their stay. This requirement has been dropped.

Arriving passengers who do not have exemption from quarantine rules must remain at home or in government-appointed hotel accommodation for seven days.

Another PCR test will be taken on day seven and a negative result will end this quarantine period. Travellers can pay for the tests before arriving via the BeAware Bahrain app. Cash is also accepted, but this may cause delays.

Which airlines are flying to Bahrain?

Etihad is one of several airlines operating between the UAE and Bahrain. Photo: Etihad

Several airlines are operating between the UAE and Bahrain.

Emirates flies daily from Dubai to Bahrain and flydubai is also operating flights between the two countries.

From Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways has resumed daily flights to Bahrain and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi operates three times per week from the UAE capital to the kingdom.

Air Arabia operates to the country from Sharjah and Gulf Air, the national airline of Bahrain, flies regularly to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

What restrictions are in place in Bahrain?

Hotels and leisure facilities in Bahrain are open but restrictions are in place. Photo: Four Seasons

Bahrain has been on yellow alert status since December. This means that vaccinated and non-vaccinated people can access shops, swimming pools, malls, gyms and restaurants by showing their green shield.

Children under 12 are exempt from these rules.

Hotels are open 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?

Travellers flying from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi who are fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine when landing in the UAE or in Bahrain. Photo: Abu Dhabi Airports

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 to complete ICA approval online to return to Abu Dhabi and all passengers need a negative PCR test to fly back to the UAE. Those staying in Abu Dhabi must follow the most up-to-date PCR testing requirements for the emirate.