NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday announced a further relaxation of restrictions for businesses and residents on New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco, including a pushback of operating hours for restaurants and an extended daily curfew.
According to the Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic) (Risk Management) (No.2) Order, 2020, the curfew on New Providence, including Rose Island and Paradise Island, mainland Abaco and Grand Bahama, has been pushed from 9pm to 10pm.
The imposed 6pm to 5am curfew on Saturday and Sunday on New Providence and mainland Abaco has also been pushed back to 10pm.
The order was signed on December 1.
The orders provide for businesses, agencies, establishments and institutions to operate from 6am to 9pm, Monday through Saturday, subject to health protocols.
Food stores can operate on Sundays between 6am and 9pm, however, each household shall “designate one person to carry out shopping for essential items or seeking essential services”.
Prohibited businesses and activities continue to include casinos, bars, cinemas, gyms, spas, straw market vendors and jet ski operators, museums, entertainment facilities, regattas, festivals or other cultural of entertainment events.
The orders provide for hotels to open with certain restrictions, including guests remaining on property during the curfew period.
A non-guest of a resort on New Providence and mainland Abaco may become check into a hotel upon obtaining a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test.
Worship services may be conducted on weekdays between 6am and 9pm and on Saturday and Sunday between 7am and 1pm.
Schools can operate with virtual or face-to-face learning provided the institution has applied for and received permission to do so from the Ministry of Education after consultation with the Ministry of Health.
Weddings may be held with no more than 10 people, but receptions remain prohibited.
Funerals may be held with no more than 10 people with graveside or interment service, but repasts remain prohibited.
Drive-thru, takeaway, delivery and outdoor dining has also been permitted between 6am and 9pm, Monday through Saturday, while Sundays will be limited to drive-thru and takeaway services only.
A person traveling from any island, with the exception of Exuma, New Providence or Grand Bahama, to any other island will not be required to obtain a COVID-19 test.
Secondary testing remains in place five days after entry into The Bahamas.
As a condition of entry into The Bahamas, travelers must self-report by completing a daily health questionnaire for 14 days.
Inter-island travel requires a travel visa.
Those traveling from New Providence to another Family Island shall be required to quarantine for 14 days.
Additionally, individuals may exercise between 5am and 10pm outside their residence or in the immediate neighborhood, and outdoors with a group no larger than 10 people.
Meanwhile, the 24-hour weekend curfew has been lifted for Exuma and Eleuthera.
A curfew remains in place for both islands, however, between 10pm and 5am, Monday through Sunday.
Restaurants on Eleuthera can offer indoor and outdoor dining at 50 percent capacity, while restaurants on Exuma have been limited to outdoor dining only.
No fish fry on Exuma may operate.
Social gatherings remain prohibited for these islands.
Weddings may be held with no more than 10 people in a religious facility, and funerals with the same number of being have been permitted for graveside only.
Receptions and repasts remain prohibited.
Worship services can be live-streamed between 7am and 1pm with no more than 10 people permitted to participate.
Schools must continue to operate virtually.
Further, beaches and parks on these islands shall remain open between 5am and 10pm.
Islands in the first schedule of the orders, with the exception of Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and Exuma, benefit from the resumption of normal commercial activity with adherence to health guidelines.