NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After eight weeks of lockdown measures, Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Sands, said the island is feeling “uncertain about its future”.
Sands underscored the need for a “definitive strategic plan to immediately move forward” during an interview with Eyewitness News.
During his address on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the resumption of commercial activity in four more Family Islands. Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros are now be able to resume commercial activity tomorrow.
Those islands join Inagua, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay. The Prime Minister maintained weekday curfews and lockdown measures remain in place for reopened islands, alongside physical distancing and the mandatory use of face masks.
With Eleuthera again not included on the list of islands allowed to resume commercial activity, Sands said: “We understand the need for caution and the safeguarding of lives across the country in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. We have continued to share details regarding the emergency orders with our members and we have encouraged them to follow the guidelines.”
Sands said: “At this juncture, where we have been experiencing curfews and lockdowns for eight weeks, we all need to be on the same page and to understand the key performance indicators related to what islands get opened and what islands remain closed.
“Today Eleuthera is feeling uncertain about its future. We need a level playing field but we don’t really know the rules related to what it takes to reopen our economy. While we all remain concerned and would not want to see any further loss of life, it is important that those in authority also note that other serious losses are also taking place.”
Sands further noted that “many Eleutherans have lost their livelihoods, many will lose their businesses, and the mental anguish as a result of months of lockdowns may never be truly quantified.
He added: “We must have a definitive strategic plan to immediately move forward . The well being of communities across this island is at stake.”