Prime Minister Minnis announces additional relaxation measures for Grand Bahama and other islands

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis today announced additional relaxation measures for the island of Grand Bahama and other Family Islands, including the resumption of in-store service for retailers and indoor dining at most restaurants.

These changes apply to all islands listed in the Second Schedule, except New Providence. The applicable islands include Grand Bahama, Abaco, Acklins, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua and Mayaguana.

While businesses, agencies, establishments and institutions will be able to operate subject to the safety protocols, high-risk businesses and activities, such as casinos, bars, discos, cinemas and gyms, and regattas, festivals and similar events remain prohibited.

“The new amendments mean that retailers will be able to offer in-store services. Restaurants will be able to offer indoor dining services, provided they follow the physical distancing, mask wearing and sanitization protocols in the Orders,” said Prime Minister Minnis at a press conference from the Office of the Prime Minister in Freeport.   

Fish Fry establishments will continue with take away and curb side services only.

Businesses that had not been permitted to open or that were opened with restrictions may now operate following the public health measures, said the Prime Minister.

Operating hours may be determined within the 5am to 10pm time period, except for New Providence. 

Small social gatherings with a maximum of 10 people will also be allowed, except for New Providence.

“We encourage you to do so in a safe manner,” said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also announced that residents of all islands, including New Providence, will be permitted to exercise outdoors in their neighborhoods from 5am – 10pm and that group exercise will be allowed daily from 5am to 12noon.

Beaches and parks will be allowed to open from 5am to 12noon. This applies to all islands, including New Providence.

The 10pm – 5am curfew remains in effect for islands listed in the Second Schedule (New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Acklins, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua and Mayaguana).

Prime Minister Minins reminded the public that it is mandatory to wear a mask in public and that police will enforce the $250 fine provided for in the Emergency Orders.

Construction sites not enforcing mask and other physical distancing protocols will also be fined for non-compliance with the Orders, said the Prime Minister.

As it relates to inter-island travel, charters are allowed in compliance with the Emergency Orders, and commercial air travel will resume as normal starting Wednesday 9 September.

A RTPCR COVID-19 negative test result is no longer required for inter-island travel, except for those traveling from New Providence; however, the 14-day requirement is still required upon arrival at destination, said Prime Minister Minnis.

“We must strike the responsible balance between keeping out economy open and practicing the public health measures so the spread of the virus is kept as low as possible,” said the Prime Minister.