PM announces increased curfew enforcement, food shopping schedule

PM announces increased curfew enforcement, food shopping schedule
The scene inside a local food store after the prime minister announced emergency powers orders. (file photo)

Increased restrictions to reduce the number of people on the streets

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government will seek to introduce a food shopping schedule later this week to further reduce the amount of people on the streets.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the new measure as he lamented the number of people leaving their homes daily despite the COVID-19 24-hour curfew.

He further advised police will increase efforts to enforce curfew regulations as there were still too many people on the road.

Shopping days and times will be designated based on the first letter of a person’s last name, Minnis said.

The prime minister urged individuals aged 75 and older not to leave their homes, and those between the ages of 65 and 74 to work from home.

Minnis said: “The purpose is not to isolate our senior citizens by asking them to stay at home.

“The purpose is to save lives.”

He said family members should stay in regular contact with older relatives to ensure they have their regular medications, groceries and supplies.

During his live broadcast, the prime minister said each household should have one designated shopper, and called for grocery stores with online shopping platforms to help reduce in-store traffic.

He stressed the country’s food stocks are healthy as he decried the need for panic buying.

“We are still receiving international cargo and there is no shortage of food or fuel,” Minnis said.

“There is enough for everyone. We also have adequate supplies of fuel and propane.”

Minnis noted officials were observing more litter on the road, which could pose other health challenges.

“Please dispose of garbage properly and in a sanitary manner,” he said.

“Let us use this time as an opportunity to practice better environmental practices.”

Minnis said all public parks will be closed beginning at 9 am on Tuesday, March 31.

He reiterated the following additional measures remain in effect:

“Pharmacies will be allowed to operate from 9am to 1 pm; banks will be allowed to operate from 9am to 1pm.

“Landscaping and property maintenance businesses and janitorial service businesses will be allowed to operate on Saturday and Sunday only.

“Pool maintenance businesses will be allowed to operate on Friday and Saturday only.

“All street or roadside vendors will be prohibited from operating.

He added: “This does not include newspaper vendors who should remain at one location.”