NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced today the country will move into Phase 4 of the government’s plan for reopening the economy next week.
The country has been in a state of emergency since March 17.
During a press conference today, the prime minister also announced that national exams including BJCs and BGCSEs will be held on July 13, after weeks of uncertainty over the issue.
More information is expected to be provided during next week’s budget debate, he said.
As of Monday, beach and park restrictions will be removed for the islands of Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells, Exuma and San Salvador.
However, beaches and parks on New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, and Bimini remain closed.
Exercise will be permitted from 5am to 9pm beyond one’s immediate neighborhood every day of the week but you must remain with your immediate family.
All professional services and commercial activity can resume regular operating hours but must be closed by 7pm daily and places of worship may resume regular office hours.
However, this does not include restaurants, bars, hair salons, barbers, cinemas, gyms, and cultural and entertainment facilities, which are to remain closed.
Minnis announced that restaurants can reopen on June 12th but with outdoor seating only.
“There will be no indoor seating allowed at this point,” he said.
This includes restaurants at the Arawak Cay Fish Fry, and Potter’s Cay Dock – all of which must follow COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
As of June 15, hair salons and barbershops may resume operations following certification by the Ministry of Health.
“All salons, spas, and parlors wishing to open should produce a current business license, engage in deep cleaning of their salon and put procedures in place to maintain physical distancing, hand washing, and sanitizing, and mask-wearing to protect themselves and their clients,” Minnis advised.
Beauty professionals are required to attend an Infection Prevention and Control course before returning to work – for which they will receive a certificate to display in their establishments.
The course will be offered digitally through the Bahamian Cosmetology and Barbers Association, Faces of Beauty School of Cosmetology and Workforce Training Institute, or the Early Access Training Center.