OPM announces two additional weekend lockdowns

OPM announces two additional weekend lockdowns
The Office of the Prime Minister. (FILE PHOTO: KEVAL WILLIAMS)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Office of the Prime Minister has confirmed the government will impose an additional two weekend lockdowns to mitigate the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The OPM statement underscored these measures are being implemented to protect the lives and health of Bahamians and residents.

The government will undertake a careful review of the health data after these two lockdown periods, according to the statement.

It stated the decision was made after consultation with local health officials and a review of the response of other jurisdictions due to the current global rise in cases.

The lockdown this coming holiday weekend begins at 7 pm on Friday, July 31 to 5am on Tuesday, August 4 for all islands of The Bahamas, excluding Grand Bahama.

Grand Bahama is under a complete lockdown until August 7.

Food stores, gas stations, pharmacies and water depots will be permitted to operate on Saturday (August 1) for the general public from 7am to 6pm.

According to the statement, commercial and social activity may resume as outlined in the Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic) (No. 3) Order, 2020 on Tuesday, August 4 at 5 am.

The same restrictions will apply the following weekend lockdown on August 7 to August 10.

The statement read: “Food store workers required to restock after curfew from Monday to Friday and during Saturday over a lockdown weekend, may seek permission from the commissioner of police to travel to and from their residence and workplace only.

“All individuals wishing to leave the country during the lockdown either by air or by boat may do so.

“Religious services may be held virtually. Live streaming is permitted between 7 am and 1pm, Saturday and Sunday from a religious facility, provided that no more than 10 people participate from the facility.

“During a lockdown, exercise is permitted within the confines of an individual’s yard only.”

It continued: “Construction is permitted on Saturday over a lockdown weekend.

“A lockdown means that no individual, except an essential worker, is permitted to leave their place of residence for any purpose, other than to seek urgent medical care or as outlined above.”

The statement underscored safety protocols like wearing masks, physical distancing and thorough handwashing are essential measures in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

It added the government is aware of a tropical weather system that may affect The Bahamas over the coming weekend, adding the system is being watched closely.

The National Emergency Management Agency will hold a press briefing tomorrow morning on the tropical system at 10am.