“PARTY ON”: PM drops restrictions on social gatherings for fully vaccinated

“PARTY ON”: PM drops restrictions on social gatherings for fully vaccinated
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks in the House of Assembly on Monday, June 21, 2021.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis today announced “party on” for fully vaccinated individuals as he outlined the permittance of social gatherings for those who have taken the jab.

During his presentation for the 2021/2022 budget debate, the prime minister said people who are fully vaccinated can now engage in private and social gatherings in their homes and elsewhere once all attendees have been vaccinated.

“You can interpret that. The young people will interpret it [as] ‘party on,’” Minnis said.

Minnis also announced changes to the daily curfews throughout the country that will go into effect tonight for all visitors and residents.

On New Providence and Abaco, the daily curfew will move to 11pm to 5am.

On Grand Bahama, the curfew will move to midnight to 5am.

On Cat Island and North and Central Andros, the curfew will move to 10pm to 5am.

Additionally, there will no longer be a curfew on the Berry Islands, South Andros and Mangrove Cay.

Minnis said his plan for the country to celebrate a “Vaccination Day” will take place once health officials determine that a sufficient number of the eligible population has been vaccinated.

The prime minister urged residents, however, to still adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.

Several changes to travel restrictions were also announced, including the removal of the RT-PCR test requirement for travel from Grand Bahama, Cat Island and Andros, effective immediately.

The $10 charge for a travel health visa for fully vaccinated Bahamians and residents returning to the country will be removed effective July 1.

The prime minister also announced additional changes to restrictions for funerals, memorials and weddings.

Funeral and memorial services will now be permitted in a church or other indoor facility in accordance with the health protocols and the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) guidelines approved by the Ministry of Health.

Minnis said there is no requirement for attendees to be fully vaccinated.

However, repasts are still not permitted on New Providence and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, mainland Abaco, Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Great and Little Exuma

Wedding receptions will now be permitted on New Providence and Grand Bahama, provided that all attendees are fully vaccinated.

Hosts of wedding receptions, private gatherings and other social events will be responsible for verifying that guests are fully vaccinated and will be subjected to fines for non-compliance.

“Our aim is to fully reopen in several months if various conditions are met and advised by health officials,” Minnis said.

“As always, we will continue to follow the science and consult with our health team on how best to move forward.”

About Sloan Smith

Sloan has spent the past four years as a lead news writer immersed in the field, covering a range of investigative breaking news developments. She produces daily salient pieces on natural disasters, crime, politics, policy, human-interest, and socioeconomic realities.

2 comments

Vaccinations have been occurring in The Bahamas for approximately three (3) months, from March to June 2021. During this period of time, it is reported that approximately 72,000 persons have been vaccinated with at least one (1) dose of the vaccine and of this group, only about 15,000 have received both doses of the vaccine.
In essence, this means that less than 4% of the population has been fully vaccinated. The Bahamas’s vaccination rate of 4% is appallingly bad compared to the US which has a vaccination rate of 45%. On what scientific basis is the PM floating the idea of fully reopening in a few months, given the slow rate of vaccination?
Is this merely whistling in the dark or does the PM have a strategy for vaccinating another 60% of the population within the next several months?

You raise a good point. As I see it the change in the protocol is mainly for the visitors and tourist. With the United States having about 50% of its population vaccinated, this is a desperate move to get more tourists. The vaccinated Bahamians are just along for the ride.

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