Arawak Cay could reopen within 14 days
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced plans to clamp down on the proliferation of unregulated street vendors as the government opens a wide range of sectors of the economy and further eases restrictions.
The Bahamas’ will move to ‘Phase 3’ of the reopening plan next Tuesday, allowing a large cross section of non-essential businesses to resume operations.
Minnis said the government must decrease the potential for resurgence and will create designated locations for this group of entrepreneurs.
“Designated places have been identified by the member for Marco City and St. Barnabas and all vendors will be placed in designated spots,” the prime minister advised Parliament.
“They will be required to have proper certification and if necessary, they will be required to have proper food handlers certificates.
“So, Mr. Speaker, this sprawling of vendors that we see today throughout New Providence will no longer be seen nor tolerated.
“There will be designated spots, so they can be monitored properly [in a] proper hygienic environment, so as to decrease the possibility of resurgence of COVID or other illnesses.”
In ‘Phase 3’, non-essential storefront business operations with essential staff may reopen, with exceptions to barbers, salons, gyms, and cimemas.
Today, the prime minister said the government is also exploring Arawak Cay restaurants providing deliveries.
The popular chain of restaurants and vendors remain closed.
Agriculture Minister and Marco City MP Michael Pintard said notwithstanding some considerations, he expects vendors at Arawak Cay to reopen within two weeks.
“There are a number of issue between, for example, between person who lease and those who are subleasing to, although there is no provision in law for them to do so,” Pintard said.
Pintard said the idea is to convert the regulated businesses to takeout.
He advised that vendors should currently be taking the food handlers course as part of a “few housekeeping matters”.
He added the stalls will be surveyed and cleaned.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said it is still hoped the nation will reopen to international travel come July.
Minnis said while it was originally hoped to have a full reopen by mid-June.
The state of emergency was extended to June 29 yesterday.
However, Minnis said the lockdown measures could be eased before then.