NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After weeks of restrictive measures amid rising cases of the novel coronavirus, Eleuthera will see the resumptions of a nightly curfew and the return of indoor and outdoor dining with health protocols, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced yesterday.
The 6pm to 5am curfew on the island has been pushed back to 10pm.
During a groundbreaking ceremony off Carmichael Road, the prime minister said: “Before I close, I want to say to those who are in Eleuthera and listening to my voice: I know the stress and the strain you have been undergoing during the last three weeks with respect to COVID and I want to thank you for [your] cooperation and appreciation, especially those in Eleuthera.
“And I want to announce here today that Eleuthera, restrictive measures that have been undertaken [in] Eleuthera, will be relaxed and Eleuthera’s curfew will commence at 10pm as opposed to 6pm.
“And all indoor and outdoor restaurants can now function. You can now enter your restaurant for indoor dining.
“However, I advise that you still stick to the mitigation protocols for COVID.”
When contacted, Central and South Eleuthera MP Hank Johnson said the lowered cases and eased restrictions were welcome news.
But the parliamentarian encouraged residents to continue to adhere to all health guidelines to avoid a resurgence and further restrictions, which could harm the island’s economy.
With the exception of Spanish Wells and Harbour Island, a 24-hour weekend lockdown, weekday curfew and border closure were implemented on November 9.
The spike in cases on the island was linked to bars and a funeral held in late-October.
Since the imposition of restrictive measures three weeks ago, Eleuthera has observed a decline in cases.
Last week, Eleuthera recorded four cases of COVID-19, half the number of cases recorded the week prior.
Between November 8 and November 14, the island recorded 19 infections.
In the previous week, Eleuthera saw 36 cases of the virus.
This represents an 88 percent fall in cases in the last three weeks, and a 50 percent drop in the last week.
There has been a total of 148 cases on the island.
A health team visited the island last Friday.
As part of the restrictive measures introduced earlier this month, social gatherings were prohibited on the island.
Indoor church services and in-person learning in schools were only allowed to occur virtually.
Funerals were limited to a maximum of 10 people at the graveside, excluding the officiant and caretakers.
Similarly, weddings were limited to a maximum of 10 people. Receptions and repasts were prohibited.
The prime minister did not advise of any adjustments to these measures yesterday.