PM: Authorities to ensure vessels do not flee island against orders
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Amid rising cases of the coronavirus in Eleuthera, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has imposed a 24-hour weekend curfew and nightly weekday curfew for the island beginning tomorrow.
Spanish Wells and Harbour Island have been exempted from the increased restrictions.
A 6pm to 5am curfew will be in effect Monday through Friday while a 24-hour weekend curfew will run from Fridays at 6pm to Mondays at 5am.
During a national address on Sunday, the prime minister said the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is on alert and in place to ensure that vessels do not flee Eleuthera in violation of the orders.
He said additional police resources have been deployed to ensure enforcement of measures put in place to protect the residents of Eleuthera.
During the weekend curfew, businesses will be prohibited from operating, including pharmacies, restaurants and food stores.
“To reduce the spread on Eleuthera, I ask everyone on the island to please go back to measures that worked for you in the past, so that Eleuthera can reopen various areas safely and as quickly as possible,” Minnis said.
All districts in Eleuthera have recorded COVID-19 cases.
However, South Eleuthera has a greater proportion of cases with 37.9 percent.
North Eleuthera had just under 30 percent of cases, while Central Eleuthera had just over 24 percent.
As of Saturday, Eleuthera had a total of 117 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
A team of health officials visited the island last week to assess the COVID-19 epidemiology on the island and perform testing.
During a press conference last Friday, health officials advised cases had been linked to bars and a funeral held two weeks ago.
Health officials also reported there was a lack of adherence to health protocols
Yesterday, the prime minister announced all bars and restaurants connected to bars will be closed.
Minnis cautioned residents against operating bars from their homes.
He also announced all private and social gatherings on the island has been prohibited.
Indoor church services and in-person learning in schools will be prohibited, but may occur virtually.
Funerals will be limited to a maximum of 10 people at the graveside, excluding the officiant and caretakers. Similarly, weddings will be limited to a maximum of 10 people. Receptions and repasts will be prohibited.
“Health officials will continue to closely monitor the COVID- 19 situation on Eleuthera,” Minnis said during a national address.
“I wish to remind Bahamians on every island, that the COVID-19 virus is easy to catch and can spread quickly and get out of control when we let down our guard.
“When we stop wearing our mask or have certain social events and gatherings or do not maintain physical distancing, the virus will take easy advantage.
“To reduce the spread on Eleuthera, I ask everyone on the island to please go back to the measures that worked for you in the past, so that Eleuthera can reopen various areas as safely and as quickly as possible.”