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Updated: Prime Minister Announces Covid-19 Curfew

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks to the media.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks to the media.

By RASHAD ROLLE


Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net 

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis ordered that beginning Friday people remain indoors for the next eleven days between 9pm and 5am and that business operations, with few exceptions, be suspended.

He said the curfew and other orders, drastic restrictions on personal and business freedoms that will upend life in the Bahamas, were needed to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.

He gave the order a day after presenting sweeping emergency COVID-19 powers in the House of Assembly. 

Attorney General Carl Bethel, explaining what compliance with the curfew must entail, said: “Persons should be in their homes if their homes are affixed to the soil in some matter, they may go in the immediate area in their yard but not if it’s an open yard over to someone else’s home and not to mingle with any occupant of any other house unless the yard is enclosed.”

The penalty for breaking the orders is a fine not exceeding $10,000 upon summary conviction or imprisonment for not more than 18 months or both. 

Dr Minnis ordered that people in establishments or businesses distance themselves from others at a minimum of three to six feet. 

Establishments, institutions, businesses, offices, stores and organisations will have to suspend operations to the general public under the prime minister’s order. Exemptions include: wholesale or retail grocery stores and farmers markets; pharmacies, gas stations, laundromats and wash houses for hygienic purposes from 6am to 5pm; banks from 9am to 5pm; construction companies doing construction work from 6am to 7pm, drive through or take-away food vendors from 6am to 7.30pm, doctors offices, hospitals or medical facilities, medical supply establishments, hotels and airports. 

“Any business that caters to the general public, so the public can just walk in, is a business that if not specifically exempted, that business needs to work from home,” Mr Bethel said. 

People will be disallowed from entering private parties that include people from outside the immediate household of the house occupant and from attending meetings of fraternal societies, private or social clubs or civic associations. 

People will also be barred from recreational or competitive sporting events, social events, banquets, receptions, weddings hosting ten or more people other than the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer and funerals except ten members of the immediate family and at least one officiant and essential mortuary staff.

People will not be allowed to travel via public buses or mail boats – except for transport of freight – or inter-island private commercial sea transport that is non-essential.

Essential officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Royal Bahamas Defense Force, Fire Services, Department of Correctional services, National Insurance Board, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Environmental Health Services, the Department of Immigration, the Customs Department, waste and sanitation workers and staff within any hospital or health care or medical facility are not affected by the order. 

Essential officers of water, electricity or other sectors encompassing the provision of electronic communications, including print and electronic media, are also not affected by the order. 

Dr Minnis said people who contravene the orders will be arrested. 

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 months, 2 weeks ago

well they don't look happy... pretty grave

thankfully they're bringing in retired officers. Not sure all are competent but I'd be happy to see Stephen Dean on the front lines again.

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 2 weeks ago

New Providence should have had a curfew for the past 10 years …….. SMT

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birdiestrachan 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The lady in the floral dress looked as if she wanted to cry while doc was speaking. It was very painful listening to him. He repeated himself. and was boring. he should have cut the chase and get to the point. which he never did.

Jerome Sawyer's questions were really DUMB, Altamise Hanna of ZNS had the best questions that were relevant

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Your analysis is weak ………… read the document

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh my, The Colony's government is hopscotch responding to the Globe's deadly pandemic. Zero PopoulacesOrdinay dying from the virus is now just a hit and miss.

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Clamshell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey, Tal ... when will it dawn on you that there’s no such word as “Popoulace”?

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Makes no difference since it's just way I use my Out Island language learning.

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Clamshell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

They have this thing nowadays called the internet where you can look stuff up.

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

No way am I googling after we Dear PM warned us, it's all Fake. Yeah, no?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Shut down the webshops 24/7/365 with immediate effect !!

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bahamas12345 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Should have done that a long time ago.

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stillwaters 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The Guardian has a much better report than this.

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VDSheep 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The government curfew is good! However it’s elementary when threats are not from Bahamians. Threats are from foreigners coming into the country ‘ most country around the world has closed their borders – we need to do so too ‘ dam if we do - and dam if we don’t close our border!!

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shonkai 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Most infections are coming from people returning to their country now. Is the same stupid thing Trump is doing. EVERYBODY JUST STAY PUT.

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shonkai 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Btw, at last politicians are stepping aside to let experts speak. Thank you for clarity Ms Forbes! nd Doc smiling like a goofy daddy, Oh my.

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shonkai 3 months, 2 weeks ago

And another baby boom in 9 months, plenty alternative work or an obstetrician/gyneacologist/politician

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Another ill-thought-out reaction by this government! Stupid, stupid!!
Really, persons must be locked away in their home during the curfew hours?
There are still many workers that have no other option than to go back and forth between the hours 9pm and 5am. We still have tourists in Colony?
Neither the PM, nor his AG, said if the curfew is Colony-wide? What are the Homeless and the Mentally Impaired persons to do - imprison them too?

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stillwaters 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The curfew will sure wreak havoc on sweethearting......just a thought.

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joeblow 3 months, 2 weeks ago

… not for daytime sweethearters!

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joeblow 3 months, 2 weeks ago

…its kinda stupid to allow people to travel into the country from affected countries WHILE curtailing movement of the local population. The airport and harbor MUST be shut down with immediate effect. Both seem equally as important to me!!

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ThisIsOurs 3 months, 2 weeks ago

not sure what the curfew will do, don't know the rationale. Perhaps they are trying to limit the activities of young people ( and the young at heart) who are still "hanging out" with not a care in the world and laughing at all the old scary people lol.

Thursday is a great time to do it since this is usually when people begin the weekend. not sure what they guh do with satdee and sundee

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BONEFISH 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The government is hoping to limit the spread of the coronavirus through this curfew.They are following in the foot steps of other countries.They were caught flat footed by the virus spread and other countries reaction to it.This situation also exposes how vulnerable this country and it's economy is to external shocks.That is one of the reasons a former FNM cabinet minister in the Ingraham government felt reducing the deficit to zero in three years was too ambitious.

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mandela 3 months, 2 weeks ago

What about persons exercising? (walking or jogging)

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh My God - Noooooo! Although just yesterday me family doctor highly recommended I spend lots time outside get lots fresh air? I guess we have two conflicting medical doctors opinions?

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ohdrap4 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Got to jog in place inside your own backyard, where your house us attached to the ground.

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

What about up on da ruff?
Fox Hill Prison has just expended Colony-wide. Cant write this stuff. Just, can't.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The entire country? Or just Nassau?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 2 weeks ago

These emergency measures are where the rubber finally meets the road. Now we get to find out which is worse for us - the life threatening Red China Virus or our new Supreme Ruler Minnis !

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realitycheck242 3 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a minor curfew compared to the other curfews being implemented in cities and countries around the world. On March 31st after an evaluation by the medical professionals, If more clusters of the virus are found, an even more severe Curfew may be required. Critics of Minnis, no need worry. He is only following the advise of the professional to give the Bahamas a chance at the best case scenairo.

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avidreader 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Interesting that while we lose tourists there are a number of flights crossing overhead on their way to destinations in Cuba. Some are from cities in Canada and others are from cities in western Europe. I should be interested to know if these aircraft are empty of passengers or occupied by actual tourists. You can check for yourself using a flight tracker like FlightRadar24.

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DWW 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Still no empirical evidence that this dis-ease is any worse than any other variation of the Flu. But you are going to see increased domestic violence, mortgage defaults will go through the roof, 25% of business will close and never reopen, insurance sales will drop, NIB contributions will flounder, bank fees will go up, children will repeat the grade.

14 day curfew is a joke. if you aren't going to do this for 60 days minimum then the curfew isn't going to help at all. a person is infectious for well over 14 days. Now explain to me how 14 day curfew will take care of all the carriers without symptoms who could be infectious up to a month.

Well done Minnis et. al. you have officially screwed the pooch. and 14 days won't do crap to prevent anything. if you are going to be serious about this tell everyone its going to be 60 days right now, instead of keeping us all in suspense. Show me the evidence.

the data out of china is flawed. you can't test only sick people and say OMG we have a 100% infection rate.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 2 weeks ago

President Trump is substituting teleconferencing wherever possible for previously scheduled major gatherings in person as far out as June of this year, e.g. the next G7 meeting.

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