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Beaches Back In Business - But Abuse It And Lose It

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks on Sunday.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks on Sunday.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced that people who fail to wear masks in public will be fined $200 or face one month imprisonment as the Royal Bahamas Police Force forms a new COVID-19 enforcement unit to ensure compliance with his emergency orders.

During a national address yesterday, he also warned beaches, which reopen in New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and Bimini today, will be immediately closed if there are mass gatherings. Groups of more than five on public beaches are prohibited, he said.

“Masks are to be worn by all persons, Bahamians, residents and visitors, entering and exiting our beaches,” he said. “Please be reminded, gatherings on the beaches of more than five persons are strictly prohibited. This will result in a fine under the emergency orders. Our enforcement teams will be monitoring this risk closely. Mass gatherings may result in the immediate closure of the respective beach. Additionally, depending on the results of the beaches’ monitoring during this upcoming week, we will make a determination on whether the beaches will remain opened or closed on the Independence holiday weekend. These measures are for the ongoing protection and safety of Bahamians and residents.”

Gyms and outdoor group exercises will be allowed to resume on Wednesday. Dr Minnis said masks will not be required during exercise.

“However, persons must wear their masks up to the point that they are about to begin exercising and immediately after they have completed their exercise routines. Additionally, they must have their masks visibly and easily identifiable on their person during their exercise routines,” he said.

It is an offence for businesses to allow people entry to their establishments without a mask. The fines include $500 for the first offence and $1,000 for the second offence. For a third offence, the businesses could be temporarily closed or required to pay more fines.

Dr Minnis reiterated the importance of observing social distancing guidelines.

“This virus spreads human to human through close contact when an infected person spews respiratory droplets,” he said. “Let me say that in more direct words: If you stand close to someone without a mask covering your mouth and nose, and they have no mask on, they could expel the virus as they talk to you. By wearing a proper face covering we protect one another. It is a sign that we are our brother’s and sister’s keepers. Many people who spread this virus are asymptomatic.

“This means they look healthy and do not have symptoms. They are not coughing or sneezing. They do not have fevers. But they may be shedding the virus and cause other people to get sick. If you are in close contact with asymptomatic people and they don’t have on a mask or face covering, and nor do you, you could catch the virus from them.

“We must wear our masks and face covering properly. Your mask is supposed to cover your nose and mouth. It is supposed to cover your nose and mouth for the entire time you are out. It is unacceptable for you to have your mask over your mouth and not your nose. It is even more unacceptable for you to have your mask just over your chin. I have seen Bahamians openly gather in groups talking and hanging out without their masks once they get out of stores and businesses.

“We all have to do better than this.”

Comments

Dawes 1 week, 1 day ago

I note it says groups of 5 or more on PUBLIC BEACHES. Is this going to be how the hotels will be able to allow more then that? Will they be enforcing the beach below high tide is public or is it beaches with public access are public? As i take it those places like Albany and others don't actually have to follow the rules the rest of us do.

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moncurcool 1 week, 1 day ago

So now we are wasting the precious resources of the police by having them spend time focusing on people not wearing mask and fining them? Are we really that stupid and childish? Some of these so called emergency orders and just plain dumb. Don't know who thinking this stuff up.

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joeblow 1 week, 1 day ago

Nothing some of these police would like more than to be able to walk up to ladies on the beach to make sure they complying with covid-19 rules!

Drones are a better way to surveil beaches and predominantly female officers should be on patrol to areas of concern highlighted by the drones!

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mandela 1 week, 1 day ago

No groups more than five and wearing a mask on the beach hopefully we won't get fined for swimming without masks

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tribanon 1 week, 1 day ago

You clearly didn't read the fine print of our supreme ruler's latest order or you would know that all beach goers must wear water proof masks.

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Tam30 1 week, 1 day ago

Really, Mr. PM. Do we now live in a communist country? I have never seen such incompetence in a leader in my life. How could you fine a store owner for a customer entering the store without a mask? Fine the consumer! We could deny service but how can we stop someone from entering? Think!!!

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TalRussell 1 week, 1 day ago

Ma Tam30, the Merchant's customers will remain few and far apart until the year 2024, and now The Colony's courts are prepared to imprison them for failure to step out from behind the store's counter to enforce his the PMfive's face-covering strategy law, written on the back of a napkin. Just can't make this whack-a-mole crazy stuff up. Just, can't.

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tribanon 1 week, 1 day ago

Now let's see if I have this right. Everyone must wear a mask while out in public or inside public places, except when they are exercising. So you can huff and puff to your hearts content while exercising in an indoor gym, creating an enormous breath cloud around you loaded with tiny aerosol water droplets, with no requirement to wear a mask because of the dangers posed by wearing one while engaged in rigorous exercise. Well...Hello Houston...we have a problem here! We should all be avoiding the breath cloud created by persons who are engaged in any kind of rigorous exercise and all unmasked exercise should only be done outdoors. That's just plain common sense!

Studies have shown a person's Covid-19 loaded breath cloud could remain aerosol, i.e. (floating in the air, for quite sometime which is why it's so important to stay away from persons engaged in rigorous exercise, including those who are walking fast, running or cycling. Wearing an inexpensive mask without a high quality air filter offers very little protection from breath clouds. Keep in mind that the volume of air we need to inhale and exhale does not change simply because we are wearing an inexpensive paper or cloth face mask. One way or the other the air flows must remain the same to avoid a person getting serious symptoms of asphyxiation. Also, many people, especially morbidly obese persons, have great difficulty breathing with anything at all covering their mouth and/or nose. In fact it could be most harmful, even fatal, for such persons to have their normal breathing impeded by a face mask. Minnis, as a medical doctor, should know all about this important information but nevertheless chooses to say nothing about it. One can only wonder why.

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TalRussell 1 week ago

I venture that ninety percent+ of Nassau's comrade PopoulatesOdinary at large POAL understand why to wear and are voluntarily abiding eighty percent+ to the face-covering order as they should.

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professionalbahamian 1 week ago

Yep now Bahamas must be a communist country - and I thought it was one of the freest -what is wrong with this scenario - are all Bahamians other than government officials considered to be children? Enough!

When are the doctors going to discuss the elevated CO2 that occurs when wearing a mask? $200 for not wearing a mask - until when? Until you are good an ready to free up or two years from now or better yet 5 years from now - do you think you won't see another spike? You will but you can't lock down the population every time for years to come- which model are you following?

Who elected who?

Come on authorities, give the power trip, hot air, BS a break please and just do your jobs.

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