By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
THE latest Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic) Order permits indoor dining to take place on all islands except New Providence, Abaco and Paradise Island.
The order gives effect to the shifts Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.
The maximum seating of restaurants can be fifty percent of maximum occupancy with a minimum of thirty square feet per person.
Social gatherings of more than twenty persons at a private residence or facility remain prohibited, however.
Dr Minnis announced on Wednesday that Grand Bahama and most Family Islands can resume normal commercial and additional social activities.
The curfew has been discontinued for Andros, Acklins, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua and Mayaguana.
“While a curfew will no longer be in effect for these islands, health officials recommend that a 10pm to 5am curfew remain in effect for Grand Bahama,” Dr Minnis said this week during his contribution to the debate to extend the Emergency Proclamation to October 31.
“Health officials also recommend that beaches remain open daily in Grand Bahama from 5am to noon for the time being.”
New Providence also remains under a curfew.
Dr Minnis also announced that gyms will be permitted to open on all islands subject to guidelines approved by the Ministry of Health.
He foreshadowed changes to the country’s quarantine requirements, saying a plan will soon be presented to “remove both domestic and international quarantine, related to travel.” His comment reflected the difficulty officials have had enticing visitors to the country if doing so requires them to "vacation in place" for 14 days.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Travis Robinson said Friday that Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar will announce the new requirements for visitors some time before October 15, the date tourism officials hope to begin reopening the sector.