New orders see beaches and range of businesses open today

New orders see beaches and range of businesses open today
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis in his address to the nation on Sunday, August 30, 2020. (BIS PHOTO/PATRICK HANNA)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has signed new orders that will see dry cleaning or laundry service, salons and barbershops, as well as beaches open today with some restrictions.

The orders delineates varying restrictions for the islands of The Bahamas and businesses, grouped under two schedules.

First Schedule

Islands in the first schedule, included Chub Cay, Harbour Island, Long Cay, Long Island, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Spanish Wells.

Churches may conduct service in accordance with the Bahamas Christian Council guidelines.

The new orders permit schools to open, home school programs with no more than five students, preschools and daycares.

Salons, barbers and cosmetologists may operation provided that premises do not exceed one person per service provider.

Restaurants, including mobile takeaway, may offer indoor and outdoor opening with 50 percent seating capacity.

Social gatherings have been permitted not exceeding 20 people.

Weddings and funerals, including graveside service, may proceed with social distancing in place.

The orders also provide for repast with no more than 20 people at a private residence or facility.

All public beaches and parks shall open today.

Second Schedule

Islands in the second schedule, Acklins, Abaco, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Inagua and Mayaguana.

New Providence and Paradise Island will be added to the second schedule today.

A curfew remains in effect for these islands between 10pm and 5am.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, hardware stores and water depots shall remain open between 6am and 9pm.

Restaurants may operate between 5am to 9pm daily with curbside, pickup, delivery, drive-thru and takeaway service.

Outdoor seating can also be offered with 50 percent capacity and social distancing.

Social gatherings remain prohibited.

Beaches and parks will be open in Grand Bahama between 5am and 9am, and in New Providence, effective today, between 5am and 9am.

The order allows for individuals to exercise in their immediate area between 5am and 9am and in their yards at any time.

Construction shall be permitted on Monday through Friday between 7am and 5pm, and Saturday between 7am and 1pm.

Public transportation taxi service, private and public bus may operate at 50 percent occupancy.

International banks, architecture and engineering businesses; real estate; law firm;  insurance agents and financial services, shall be allowed to open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.

The order provides for pool maintenance, landscape services, and news vendors to operate between 7am and 5pm.

Meanwhile, laundromats may open daily between 6am and 9pm at 50 percent capacity.

According to the orders, dry cleaning or laundry service can now operate between 9am and 5pm, retail clothing or fabric stores Monday through Saturday from 7am to 6pm; and retail business from Monday through Saturday between 7am and 6pm

Additionally, beauty salons, barbershops may operate Monday through Saturday between 7am and 6pm. These businesses must be certified by the Ministry of Health and not allow more than one person per service provider on the premises.

Spas, bars, cinemas, gyms, festivals and cultural events remain prohibited.

Gaming house operators may also operate using curbside service, online or delivery.

Effective today, church service may only be conducted via live stream between 7am and 1pm from the sanctuary with no more than 10 people permitted to participate.

The orders also provide for schools to operate virtually provided that a teacher can attend the premises to perform the necessary tasks for virtual learning.

Preschool and infant daycares may also reopen in accordance with all health guidelines.

Weddings and funerals may be held provided that attendees are limited to 10 people, excluding the officiants.

Travel

In order for a resident or visitor to enter The Bahamas, a negative RTPCR COVID-19 test must be obtained within five days of travel, a health visa acquired, and mandatory quarantine for 14-days.

As a condition of entry, must agree to be monitored via the geofencing application Hubbcat, the Ministry of Health and the COVID-19 Enforcement Unit.

While a citizen or a resident who refuses to be monitored shall be required to quarantine, a visitor’s refusal will result in their deportation at the earliest opportunity.

A hotel is an appropriate quarantine facility.

The competent authority may, after consultation with health officials, exempt a person traveling for an essential service from quarantine.

Inter-island travel requires a RTPCR COVID-19 negative within five days prior to travel effective September 1, and mandatory quarantine upon arrival for 14-days.

A negative COVID-19 test is not required for passengers traveling between islands of the first schedule — those that have yet to record a case of the virus, and from islands in the first schedule to any other island.

Travel from other islands to Grand Bahama or New Providence shall be exempt from the testing requirement, but must mandatory quarantine at a government facility or any other appropriate facility as determined by the Ministry of Health.

Passengers traveling between Grand Bahama and New Providence will also be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test.

A person 10-years-old or younger will not be required to obtain a negative test prior to arrival in The Bahamas, but must quarantine for the requisite time.