PLP deputy leader Chester Cooper. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
EXUMA and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper insisted Friday that it is time for Exuma to have its restrictions relaxed.
He pointed to a recent announcement by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis that Grand Bahama’s curfew could be moved to 11pm as early as this weekend, saying Exumians should be afforded the same leeway.
On Friday Mr Cooper described the on-going 10pm curfew as “one of those decisions that’s not rational”, adding it had negatively impacted the island’s business.
“We heard that the prime minister was in GB and he indicated that there will be a relaxation for Grand Bahama,” Mr Cooper said. “We’re happy for them.
“We want to see those relaxations here for Exuma. There’s no rational basis to continue to treat Exuma as if Exuma is a hotspot. So the same rules that they had in place when we were a hotspot still exist. We’ve had one I believe case since January 1st and the reality is that now it’s hampering our quality life.”
He added: “I spoke to some business owners in George Town today when we did a walk about and restaurants in particular are concerned about the 10 o’clock curfew because they’re unable to really make a living, keep their people employed and really have a great and prosperous business. So, there is no science.”
‘There is no rational basis for the restrictions to stay as they are and therefore there has to be some relaxation. There’s a need for some of the restrictions to stay but certainly the 10 o’clock curfew something that must go and must go now.”
Exuma has a total confirmed case number of 122.
The last reported case was one back on February 4th of this year. The island is unable to have face-to-face public schooling, but the member of Parliament mentioned he has agitated to minister of education for that to be changed.
According to Mr Cooper: “I think we are at a point in this pandemic where the competent authority is enjoying this position as competent authority and I think quite frankly it’s now being used as a political tool.”