By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
NEW Providence and mainland Abaco have been placed under a 10pm to 5am curfew, according to the latest Emergency Powers Order.
Previously, the islands were on a 9pm to 5am weekday curfew and a 6pm to 5am curfew on weekends.
Businesses are now allowed to operate between 6am and 9pm from Monday to Saturday and worship services are now allowed to take place on weekdays from 6am to 9pm and from 7am to 1pm on weekends.
Outdoor dining is allowed between 6am and 9pm from Monday to Saturday. Food services are still limited on Sundays and can only comprise drive thru and takeaway services.
Additionally, the competent authority has lifted the 24-hour curfew for Exuma and Eleuthera. A curfew for both islands remains in place between 10pm and 5am Monday through Sunday.
The curfew in Grand Bahama has also been changed from 9pm to 5am daily to 10pm to 5am.
According to the Order, schools can operate with either virtual or face-to-face learning so long as the institution providing the later service has been given permission from the Ministry of Education.
The further relaxation of restrictions comes as the Ministry of Health recorded only two cases yesterday. Both cases are in New Providence.
The country now has 7,543 coronavirus cases and 163 deaths.
Last week, Health Minister Renward Wells declared in the House of Assembly that Bahamians are flattening the COVID-19 epidemic curve.
“While it is true that the entire Bahamas only experienced one complete lockdown in April, 2020, other islands such as Grand Bahama and Bimini, experienced lockdowns for some two weeks to control the spread of the virus on these islands,” he said at the time. “Controlled weekday and 24-hour weekend curfews have been most effective on the islands of Eleuthera, Exuma, Abaco and New Providence to bring the overall transmission down, ‘flatten the curve,’ reduce infections and avoid overwhelming our treasured health care system.”
The order also allows New Providence grocery stores to open on Sundays from 6am to 9pm.