Nationwide lockdown in effect until August 19

Nationwide lockdown in effect until August 19
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the lockdown during a national address on Monday. (OPM Communications)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government released the prime minister’s latest emergency order bringing the two-week lockdown into effect last night.

The 24-hour curfew will expire at 5am on Wednesday, August 19.

The order revokes the existing lockdown order for Grand Bahama, with restrictions in effect for the entire country.

Public service employees will work remotely from home unless designated as an essential worker by the permanent secretary of their respective ministry.

According to the order, fishing for crawfish, lobster season preparation, and harvesting of crabs shall be permitted.

Healthcare workers will be allowed to conduct home visits to provide medical or therapeutic care. Farmers or caretakers will be permitted to maintain crops and animals.

The servicing and replenishing of automatic banking machines, and night deposits will also be permitted, according to the order.

All businesses will be closed except for emergency or essential services, which include: hospitals or quarantine facilities; food distribution centres and related organizations; law enforcement, immigration and customs department, emergency and disaster management agencies; hotels with restrictions; essential workers of the Judiciary; air traffic controllers at the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority; the ministries of Environment and Housing, and Social Services; waste disposal and sanitation services; security guard services; the Bahamas National Trust; humane societies and emergency veterinarian services.

The National Insurance Board will be allowed to open for non-client facing services only.

Ports of entry, container ports, freight forwarders, and private terminals will be allowed to conduct basic maintenance services, domestic trade, imports and exports of containerized freight, and the import, treatment, bunkering and export of oil products.

Those operations are subject to remote working guidelines, the order stated.

Businesses engaged in inter-island transportation of freight will also be permitted.

A list of industrial businesses that are exempted from the lockdown order.

The following businesses will be allowed to operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 7am and 5pm.

Wholesale and retail grocery store; water depot; pharmacy offering curbside service only; gas station offering external service only; and hardware store offering curbside and delivery service only.

On those days, private medical facilities will be allowed to offer emergency medical care, immunization, neonatal and prenatal care, dialysis, chemotherapy and the cancer treatments, tele-medicine, and emergency dental care.

The National Insurance Board will be permitted to open to the general public to distribute cheques at the National Stadium on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

Utility service providers will also be allowed to open to the general public on those days, along with commercial banks.

Commercial banks will be open to the general public between 9am and 1pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and will remain open through the week for operation services, excluding any client-facing services.

International banks, trusts, or financial institutions may operate between the hours of 9am to 5pm during the week for operation services, excluding client-facing services. Those institutions have been permitted 10 essential staff members; however, the order states that more can be approved in writing by the prime minister.

Grocery stores, water depots, pharmacies and gas stations will be allowed to open to essential workers on Saturdays between 7am and 1pm.

News vendors will be allowed to operate daily between 7am and 1pm, provided that the vendor remains stationary.

Essential workers of pool maintenance or landscape service providers may operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7am and 5pm.

Bakeries, and water and ice production companies will be allowed to operate utilizing curbside and delivery services on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 7am and 5pm.

Subsistence fishing will also be permitted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Wholesale and retail grocery stores, wholesale bakeries, water depots, and hardware stores will be permitted to open for the restocking of goods on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7am and 5pm.

As for legal services, counsel and attorneys  will be permitted to operate when: “discharging instructions in existing criminal or urgent civil matters where this cannot be done by audio-visual means; acting in connection with the execution of wills subject in all cases to producing identification if requested o do so.”

The order states counsel and attorneys must work remotely from home.

In Abaco and the cays, gas stations will be allowed to operate daily between 6am and 7pm for the purpose of refueling generators. Business will also be allowed to operate for general reconstruction; and non-governmental organizations will be allowed to operate for water production, and water and food distribution.

The order noted that a hardware store or pharmacy currently operating from within a grocery store in the Abacos, may continue those operations and is not restricted to using curbside pickup and delivery.

Churches will be allowed to operate on Saturdays and Sundays between 7am and 1pm  via live stream; however, the order states that no more than 10 people will be permitted to participate in the service.

Religious administrative offices will be allowed to operate during the week between 9am and 1pm, with a maximum of five people in attendance.

Funerals and weddings are permitted but the number of attendees are limited to five persons, excluding the officiant and mortuary workers.

Travel restrictions remain unchanged; however, diplomatic personnel are no longer required to submit to mandatory monitoring.

Exercise is permitted within an individual’s immediate neighborhood between the hours of 6am and 9am, and in their yard.

According to the order, each household shall designate one person to carry out shopping for essential items, or seeking essential services.

In the event of an emergency, individuals can seek permission to leave their home by calling 311 or the nearest police station.

The order states the prime minister, or competent authority, can exempt a business or class of business from any of the restrictions — in exceptional circumstances and in consultation with public health professionals.

2 comments

Just need to lockdown those over 50 since they are the ones who die from this illness as the numbers clearly show. The young recover within days, it is the older ones with a not so strong immune system and preexisting health conditions that feel the full effects of this virus. Why not just make it illegal for them to leave their homes? Have doctors make house calls to suspected covid19 patients. This will avoid them having to come to a public facilitie. Provide health care workers with proper ppe’s to protect themselves. Educate Bahamaians on what to do if they do feel ill. And taking a paracetamol is not the only treatment. It only reduces the fever. Antihistamine medication like Benadryl works quite fine. I have had the covid19 twice and survived. Thanks to an immune system that works as the Almighty intended, like millions of others world wide.

This is a very ignorant of you. Clearly you have not seen the reports of long lasting and potentially permanent brain, lung, and heart damage, even in youth and asymptotic people. What good is a population of young people with damaged hearts, neurological disease, and lung scarring? This virus is dangerous and you should educate yourself about it before sharing misinformation.

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