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Last Stages But Curfew Stays For Overnight

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced on Thursday that the country has officially began the transition to stage four of the government’s reopening plan, allowing for restaurants to open under certain guidelines and a further relaxation of restrictions on the national curfew.

Noting that the success of the country’s phased re-opening plan depends on resident’s adherence to the social distancing guidelines, Dr Minnis said starting next weekend, the weekend lockdown measure will be lifted for the entire country, with the 9pm to 5am curfew still set to remain in place.

Public parks and beaches, he added, will also be allowed to open on other remaining islands with no COVID-19 cases, starting Monday. This includes Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells, Exuma and San Salvador.

However, as for New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and Bimini, Dr Minnis said the closure of public parks and beaches will still remain in effect.

This, according to the prime minister, is part of the government’s efforts to gradually re-open the economy in a safe and sustainable manner.

Dr Minnis also announced a further relaxation of hours for already exempted businesses and services in the country, saying starting Monday, all professional services and commercial activity will now be able to resume regular operating hours.

However, he said businesses must be closed by 7pm daily.

“This does not include restaurants, bars, hair salons, barbers, cinemas, gyms and cultural and entertainment facilities, which are to remain closed,” he noted during Thursday’s press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Exercise will also be permitted between 5am to 9pm beyond one’s immediate neighbourhood daily, but group exercises and sporting activities will still not be allowed.

The Prime Minister added: “Places of worship may resume regular office hours. Fishing is allowed with more than two people in a vessel. Physical distancing and proper sanitization and hygiene measures are required. Masks should be worn.”

During Thursday’s address, Dr Minnis also relaxed restrictions on more businesses in the country, allowing restaurants and hair salons to resume operations starting June 15th but under highly restrictive conditions.

This comes months after the government ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay and the stalls at Potter’s Cay in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In recent weeks, Arawak Cay and Potter’s Cay vendors have been calling for the government to allow them re-open their businesses, noting it as “unfair” that certain businesses are allowed to operate, Starting Monday, while their establishments remain closed.

But, starting June 15, Dr Minnis said restaurants will be allowed to re-open and cater to the general public once again.

However, he warned to restaurant operators: “There will be no indoor seating allowed at this point. This includes restaurants at the Arawak Cay Fish Fry, and Potter’s Cay Dock. All restaurants must follow industry COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. Owners must ensure proper physical distancing.”

Dr Minnis also reminded that road side vendors will not be allowed to operate on the streets during this time, noting the move as essential in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 fight.

“In order to be restored, special locations will be provided. Individuals must be certified. They must receive food handlers’ certificate and they must also be certified by a sanitisation,” he said.

Meanwhile, as it relates to the re-opening of hair salons and barbershops, the prime minister said: “Hair salons and barbershops may resume operations following certification by the Ministry of Health.”

He added: “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.”

Dr Minnis said in partnership with the Ministry of Health, all beauty professionals will be required to attend “an Infection Prevention and Control” course on new health protocols before returning to work.

In his address on Thursday, Dr Minnis also gave an update concerning the national BJC and BGCSE dates, saying the examinations will be begin on July 13.

More information, he said, will be provided by Education Minister Jeff Lloyd in the House of Assembly during the budget debate next week.

Comments

TalRussell 6 months ago

Being he is an all licensed regulated medical doctor of gynecology with much appreciative practical work-related experiences, comrade Mr. Minnis should know everything needs to know about the need personal shrubbery maintenance, I pose but one question to Mr. Minnis, exactly is goin' be the day in June when those of us with shrubbery growth issues will be able to head out our trusted but not necessarily VAT registered and regulated waxer undergo much needed Brazilian makeover?

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RealTalk 6 months ago

Lol. These are questions that need answers!

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stillwaters 6 months ago

Man........I deaded!!!!!!

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mandela 6 months ago

Boy Oh boy I wonder what and how this person is going to react or do when it becomes evident that a Competent Authority is no longer needed and this drunken do this, can't do this, chase your tail mentality for no reasonable and apparent reason is no longer needed, please Lord help us the Bahamian people get to this point, right now Hitler would be seen as a junior when compared our now COMPETENT AUTHORITY. Nassau I guess we will have to wait until we see foreigners (tourists) swimming and enjoying our beaches before we can.

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ThisIsOurs 6 months ago

"address on Thursday, Dr Minnis also gave an update concerning the national BJC and BGCSE dates, saying the examinations will be begin on July 13."

that's not good. You haven't even psychologically prepared students to take exams much less given them proper instruction over the last 3 months and you notify them a week before they start? The students who had resources may be ready to go, Id make it optional. The ones who want to go ahead can and then have a special sitting in another 3 months. The ones who chose not to take exams now go through a special summer camp to get them psychologically prepared to take the exams.

I suppose it would all depend on the logistics of some taking now, some taking in 3 months or everyone taking in 3 months. But the decision has been made already by the decider. I'm not sure what's the rush, colleges have already indicated that they're willing to relax entry requirements

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ohdrap4 6 months ago

Just cancel junior junkanoo and have the exams in mid-october through December.

Colleges will make adjustments for class 2020.

And who is going to pay the invigilators?

They need double the number of invigilators to comply with social distancing.

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ThisIsOurs 6 months ago

Yrah they have lots of options.

They're rushing these decisions for reasons that aren't very clear to the public

..another option is to ask the students/parents. I'm assuming that the students who spent all this time preparing won't want to wait and I understand that. So if you get feedback from the stakeholders you have an idea of how to deploy resources The other logistic is rewriting the exams. How much effort would that take and is it feasible? In either case it will be pretty unfair to the majority of students to give them one week's notice.

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ThisIsOurs 6 months ago

not 1 week, 1 month. logic still applies. notice is too short

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tribanon 6 months ago

What a farce by a power drunk farcical and directionless PM who has yet to figure out whether he's headed east or west.

It was well known before the end of April that only the elderly and more vulnerable needed to be protected from the China virus and that shutting down international travel and the non-tourism parts of our economy were all that was necessary to keep the co called 'curve' flattened for healthcare providers. The unnecessary curfew and lockdown periods since then have had only two objectives: (1) stall of the impending violence of the unemployed for as long as possible; and (2) minimise spending and the need for importation of goods that puts pressure on our ever decreasing foreign currency reserves.

Note how those employed in the private sector were made to bear the unemployment cost of Minnis's emergency orders whereas the public sector (other than healthcare providers) received a very long fully paid vacation with all of their retirement, healthcare and other benefits and perks remaining fully intact. We now know for sure who is working for who in our dysfunctional society and that there is no such person as a civil 'servant'.

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Topdude 6 months ago

Mudda-take-Sic now known as tribanon please go recycle your hate for our Prime Minister into love. Remember that no weapon that is formed against him will prosper.

I am wondering why is it that you are so negative?

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DWW 6 months ago

did you seriously just liken Minnis to god? how them crackberries? what's that commandment about false gods again?

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stillwaters 6 months ago

He changed his name, but can't change the garbage and hatefulness he spews.

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tribanon 6 months ago

Minnis's unflappable twins: stillwaters aka Flossie Bobbsey and Topdude aka Freddie Bobbsey. LOL

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stillwaters 6 months ago

At your service, bah humbug

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tribanon 6 months ago

Chew on this 'stillwaters' and 'Topdude':

Minnis and D'Aguilar are anxious to begin welcoming to our shores asymptomatic Covid-19 carrying tourists from all over the world on July 1. This fact, combined with the low numbers shown on The Tribune's Covid-19 dashboard, would seem to indicate there was never any need for Minnis to have shut down the non-tourism related sectors of our economy nor to have imposed draconian curfew and lockdown orders.

Needlessly shutting down the non-tourism related sectors of our economy for months on end has resulted in many local business failures and massive unemployment, not to mention the many millions of dollars doled out to the unemployed from our financially bereft national insurance fund. And after having needlessly put us through the ordeal of a copied American shutdown plan, it certainly seems Minnis and D'Aguilar now can't wait to bring many tourists to our shores thereby subjecting the more vulnerable in our society to the Swedish herd plan.

The lack of testing that was done, the many irrational and silly emergency orders that only served to exacerbate the spread of the highly infectious China virus, e.g. the food store crowds, and now our impending official adoption of the Swedish herd plan, all point to the fact that our government should have waited to see the outcome of shutting down the tourism related sectors of our economy, i.e. international travel, before resorting to the draconian measure of a complete shutdown of our total economy. This is not Monday morning quarterbacking, but rather common sense, something Minnis sorely lacks.

Minnis elected to simply copy the American plan no matter what, with no recognition whatsoever of the fact that, unlike the US, the Bahamas cannot simply print more money to dig itself out of a financial hole that had already been greatly deepened by Hurricane Dorian. It's all too clear Minnis is a copycat PM without the ability to think for himself and do what's best for our country and its people.

Rumours are circulating that Minnis is drunkenly in love with his newfound emergency powers and intends using potential rioting and looting, as a result of the massive unemployment his decisions (orders) created, as the ideal excuse for not ending our country's state of emergency. Truly frightening because this is the classic model by which many countries have been robbed of their democracy by a tyrannical dictator.

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DWW 6 months ago

this is political garbage

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Wisdom4 4 months ago

The questions we need to ask:

Can the Bahamian people survive these continuous lock down? Bahamians are loosing jobs and struggling to pay their rent, light and more.

Can businesses survive these lock down? Most business owner depend on earn income to help their families and provide stability to employees.

How is the economy suppose to jump start and helping people to get into daily routine? With all these lock down.

Lock down does not work. When people are limited to go too grocery stores on particular days. It Create chaos, complete disorder and confusion. Now! Their will be massive of people in the grocery's and long lines. The agony is their will be large crowds, any person could be carry the virus. Once again, people our going to be expose. They will not be practicing social distancing. As a result, Bahamian people health is going to be at risk due to these lock downs and continuously,mandated orders.

This CORVID-19 China virus cannot be contain or restrain. More testing is needed and hopefully their will be Vaccination but until then. Bahamians need to get back too work safety and continue to follow the health guidelines. This is a global CORVID-19 crisis. Our hospitals and workers overwhelmed with this virus. The only way to prevent the spread, people need to wear face mask and practice healthy hygiene.

This virus is not going away faster. Each Bahamian people have a responsibility to practice healthy hygiene to avoid CORVID-19 and prevent the spread.

We are not jump starting the economy by keeping people in lock downs and unemployment surge. Government assistant can only last so much.

The entire Bahamian people our being quarantine or isolation. After this, people will still need to deal with the reality CORVID-19 lives amount them.

How can you get through second CORVID -19 lock downs? Being lay off from your jobs. How are you managing household?

We need to reopen economy safely with stronger guide-lines without jeopardize Bahamians people who needs to get back too work and think about their mental health.

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