Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks on Monday.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has announced a national lockdown for the entire Bahamas in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
In a national address on Monday night, Dr Minnis said the lockdown will start on Tuesday at 10pm for a minimum of two weeks.
The possibility of a further lockdown period will be assessed toward the end of that period.
An assessment will be made on Friday to determine if an extension to Grand Bahama’s lockdown is necessary.
During the lockdown:
- The following essential items will be available during Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 7am to 5pm for the general public, and again on Saturday from 7am to 1pm for essential workers. These include:
o Food stores
o Water depots
o Pharmacies from curbside or take-away windows only; and
o Gas stations for external services only.
Food stores and pharmacies are encouraged to offer, and the public is encouraged to utilise, delivery services as much as possible.
- All households are asked to identify one person to be the designated shopper for each of the essential services. This will be monitored, as well as the number of individuals travelling in vehicles.
- All businesses and offices will be required to suspend operations, with limited exceptions, and to have their staff work remotely where this is possible.
– Such exceptions include:
o Commercial banks will be permitted restricted hours of operation to the public until 1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday;
o Accommodation will be made for international banks, trust companies and financial institutions to have a skeleton team in office on the same days;
o Construction will be permitted to continue, having regard to the fact that we are in hurricane season; this will be permitted Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm, and Saturday 7am to 1pm;
- However, hardware stores will only be permitted to provide curbside services on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 7am to 5pm.
- Private medical facilities will be permitted to provide emergency medical care and immunisation services only, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All routine services are to be suspended.
- Home healthcare takers, certified by the Ministry of Health, will be permitted to carry out their important services.
- Essential commercial ports will be permitted to carry out their respective services;
- Caretakers will be permitted to maintain crops and animals;
- There will be no curbside and takeaway dining or retail, other than as mentioned for hardware stores;
- The Secretary to the Cabinet and permanent secretaries will give instructions to Public Officers.
- Live streaming from a religious facility will continue to be permitted during the lockdown, with no more than 10 people at the facility, to accommodate virtual services.
- Families will be permitted to lay to rest their loved ones. Funeral services will continue to be permitted at the graveside only, with no more than five attendees, excluding the officiant and the mortuary staff.
- People will be permitted to exercise in their immediate neighbourhoods during this period from 6am to 9am.