NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday announced several changes to the COVID-19 Emergency Powers Order, including adjustments to curfews, testing requirements for domestic travel, travel health visa fees, wedding receptions, funeral services and provisions for fully vaccinated individuals.
Minnis said progress achieved on management of the coronavirus during this current period has allowed the government to make the following changes.
As of Monday, June 21, the curfew on New Providence and mainland Abaco will be in place from 11pm to 5am; on Grand Bahama from midnight to 5am; and on Cat Island, North Andros and Central Andros from 10pm to 5am.
The curfew on South Andros and the Berry Islands has been lifted.
The RT-PCR test requirement for travel from Grand Bahama, Cat Island and Andros has been removed.
Effective July 1, the $10 travel health visa fee for vaccinated Bahamians and residents returning home from abroad will be waived; however, travelers are still required to apply for the health visa.
Also effective Monday, June 21, on New Providence, funeral and memorial services are permitted in a church or other indoor facility in accordance with the health protocols of the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) and approved by the Ministry of Health. There is no requirement to be fully vaccinated. Masks and physical distancing are still required.
Repasts remain prohibited on New Providence and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, mainland Abaco, Eleuthera, including Harbour Island, and Great and Little Exuma.
The number of people allowed to gather in groups on beaches and parks has been increased from five to 15. This applies to New Providence and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, mainland Abaco, Eleuthera, including Harbour Island, and Great and Little Exuma, where restrictions were previously in place.
Private gatherings and other social events in homes and elsewhere may now be held provided all attendees are fully vaccinated all required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This applies to New Providence and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, mainland Abaco, Eleuthera, including Harbour Island, and Great and Little Exuma, where restrictions were previously in place.
Hosts will be responsible for verifying vaccination status of their guests. Hosts and guests will be subject to fines for non-compliance.
Wedding receptions will now be permitted on New Providence and Grand Bahama, provided all attendees are fully vaccinated.
All performance groups and artists, including bands, Junkanoo groups, dance troupes and acting groups, may perform at all activities permitted under the Emergency Powers Order, provided all performers are fully vaccinated.
The prime minister emphasized that mask and sanitization requirements remain in place for everyone.
“Our aim is to fully reopen in several months if various conditions are met and advised by health officials,” said Minnis.
“As always, we will continue to follow the science and consult with our health team on how best to move forward.”