NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As the phased opening on the country begins tomorrow, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced barbershops and salons may resume operations with one person per service provider.
In the emergency orders signed last week, these businesses were only permitted to open on islands that had yet to record a case of the coronavirus.
However in a live broadcasted message today, the prime minister said the new orders were designed to ensure that more small businesses could open with the appropriate health measures.
He outlined the easing of further restrictions for Nassau and Grand Bahama, and other islands included in the Second Schedule of the Emergency Powers (Pandemic) (No 4) Order 2020.
These include landscape service providers, who may operate Monday through Saturday between 7am to 5pm; and new vendors, Monday through Friday from 7am.
Retail businesses are permitted to operate Monday through Saturday between 7am and 6pm, utilizing curbside or delivery services; however, clothing and fabric stores may offer in-store services.
Additionally, restaurants may offer takeaway, drive-thru and outdoor dining, while restaurants at the Fish Fry and Potter’s Cay will be able to offer takeaway services only.
Further, public transportation may operate at 50 percent capacity.
“I encourage all businesses, no matter the size, to ensure that your employees and customers are following the health measures, including proper sanitization, physical distancing and the wearing of masks or face coverings,” Minnis said.
“Let me again express tremendous gratitude and admiration to the many Bahamians and residents and businesses who have consistently followed the various health measures.”
The prime minister urged young people to honor elders, noting that Bible scripture speaks of honoring their mother and father so that “thy days may be long”.
“We honor and show respect to our elders during this pandemic by following the health measures that will ensure that their lives and their days are healthier and longer,” he said.
“When we are successful as a country, it is not the government that is successful.
“It is the Bahamian people who are achieving success.”
Quoting former American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Minnis said: “Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty.”
Minnis said as officials seek to balance the health, economic and social needs, capacity has been increased in the hospital, testing capacity; improved turnaround time for test results, and improved data analysis.
According to Minnis, the police force remains on “high alert”.
He encouraged the police force to enforce all laws with no exceptions.
As it relates to the in-person church service and other islands whether a curfew remains in place, Minnis said health advice will guide the decision to resume service.
Acklins, Abaco, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Inagua, and Mayaguana comprise islands in the Second Schedule.
According to the latest order, New Providence and Paradise Island will be added to the list effective Monday, August 31.
The new emergency orders had not been released up to press time.