COP says police will monitor beaches to enforce protocols
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Despite restrictions on some islands throughout The Bahamas, Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu said yesterday that officials are confident that tourists will be able to enjoy their stay in the country.
Speaking to Eyewitness News on the ministry’s efforts to safeguard tourism in the country, Jibrilu insisted that the focus is to encourage visitors to travel to islands that are opened and amenities are available.
She noted however that even though most visitors travel to Nassau, they will still be able to enjoy the amenities of hotels that are allowed to operate during the lockdown.
“We are still not going to see a large number of visitors in these opening weeks as we would have in normal times,” Jibrilu said.
“People are still looking to see that The Bahamas is committed to the protocols that are in place; that they are not going to change.”
On November 1, the ministry dropped its 14-day quarantine protocol and implemented a new testing regime for travel.
New Providence, Paradise Island, and Abaco are currently on an 8pm – 5am curfew with a 24-hour lockdown on the weekend.
Jibrilu said: “When you see the hotels that are opened, I think that their guests will be very happy.
“They are the type of guest, the Ocean Club guest, they are going to stay [at the hotel].
“They will do the same at the Island House…We know hotels can operate during lockdown as normal. People will still have to eat so they will be able to operate within those confines.”
She added that if the country continues to see a trend in a decrease in cases, when larger hotels are reopened in December, there can potentially be more restrictions lifted.
Currently, beaches and parks on opened on all islands, except for New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco which are opened daily between 5am and 8pm.
The latest emergency orders note that while public and private beaches and parks are closed for islands in the second schedule(New Providence and Abaco) on Saturday and Sunday, a beach immediately connected to a hotel will be allowed to open to guests only.
Law enforcement officers will be empowered to monitor beaches and parks to ensure the order is followed.
Asked how police plan to enforce the latest measures, Commission of Police Paul Rolle said: “We will ensure that the laws are carried out…The hotel has a responsibility to play in that as well.
“They are private properties. And so we will be working in collaboration with the various hotels that are on beach fronts.”
He also noted that police will be employing multiple strategies at beaches throughout the week to monitor public beaches, including stationing officers at beaches.
He would not indicate what level of manpower will be deployed to enforce the measures.
“We want people to enjoy the beach as much as possible,” Rolle told reporters following an award ceremony at police headquarters.
“But you are going to see the [police] presence on the beach… You judge based on what you see. We will be there to encourage persons to abide and where we find breaches we will cite them.”