By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
A 7pm to 5am curfew has been implemented for North and South Bimini in response to a COVID-19 outbreak on that island.
An amendment to the Emergency Powers Order says funerals can be held at the graveside only but no more than ten people – not including officiants or funeral workers – are allowed to attend the services.
Weddings are permitted in a church, facility or outdoors once the number of attendees does not exceed 10, including the officiant, and all attendees wear masks.
Wedding receptions and repasts are prohibited on the island.
Wedding hosts who contravene the rules could be liable upon conviction to a $2,000 fine and, in the case of an attendee, a $300 fine.
Beaches and parks are allowed to open, however, no more than five persons are allowed to congregate in a group at these venues.
Bars, meanwhile, have been ordered closed and people are not allowed to host social gatherings.
Worship services can be conducted between 6am to 6pm.
As for hotels or cruise ships, they can operate so long as the hotel guest or cruise passenger remains on the premises of a hotel or cruise ship during the curfew hours.
Residents yesterday complained of the abrupt curfew announcement.
“We want to cuss,” one woman, who declined to give her name because she works for the government, said. “How can you just push it on us like that and ain’ prepare us? And a bunch of tourists in this town. People are pissed off.
“This is probably one of the busiest weekends for Bimini. July 4 weekend is always busy and people are flocking to this island. Give us a chance to buy food. All bars (are) closed and Bahamians like to drink. This cannot be right. He should’ve given us more warning.”
On Tuesday, Health Minister Renward Wells said a team of health officials was being dispatched to Bimini to investigate the outbreak.
Officials said vaccinations were also carried out on Bimini yesterday.