Prime Minister Minnis announces relaxation of restrictions on beaches, weekend lockdowns and business operations

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced the further relaxation of restrictions as part of the Government’s phased approach to re-opening the country on Thursday 4 June during a COVID-19 press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Relaxations include the removal of weekend lockdowns, effective 13 June. While the weekend lockdowns will be lifted, a 9pm to 5am curfew will be in place Monday to Sunday for a period of time in order to continue to open in a gradual and sustained manner, said the Prime Minister.

The majority of professional services and commercial activities will be permitted to resume normal operating hours and restrictions on public parks and beaches on additional Family Islands will be lifted.

“The success of the re-opening depends on each of us continuing to wear our masks, practicing physical distancing and washing our hands often and thoroughly,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

The Prime Minister announced that effective Monday 8 June, public beach and park restrictions will be lifted for the islands of Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Exuma and San Salvador. Beaches and parks on New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, and Bimini remain closed.

Also, effective Monday 8 June:

  • All professional services and commercial activity may resume regular operating hours but must be closed by 7 p.m. daily. This does not include restaurants, bars, hair salons, barbers, cinemas, gyms and cultural and entertainment facilities, which are to remain closed.
  • Places of worship may resume regular office hours.
  • Fishing allowed with more than two people in a vessel. Physical distancing and proper sanitization and hygiene measures are required.Masks should be worn.

Effective Friday 12 June, restaurants may re-open with outdoor seating only. There will be no indoor seating allowed at this phase.

This includes restaurants at the Arawak Cay Fish Fry, and Potter’s Cay Dock.  All restaurants must follow industry COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. Owners must ensure proper physical distancing.

Effective Monday 15 June, hair salons and barbershops may resume operations following certification by the Ministry of Health.

All salons, spas and parlors wishing to open should produce a current business license, engage in deep cleaning of their salon and put procedures in place to maintain physical distancing, hand washing and sanitizing, and mask wearing to protect themselves and their clients.

In conjunction with the Ministry of Health all beauty professionals will be required to attend an Infection Prevention and Control course before returning to work.

Prime Minister Minns also announced that the Government as approved $16 million for the national food distribution program, which will provide food for approximately 80,000 people for 12 weeks.

Food is being distributed in zones across the country and New Providence through the Ministry of Social Services and NGO partners, said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Minnis emphasized that one of the most urgent and overriding concerns for the Government is the creation of jobs and opportunities for work.

“Just like the rest of the world, COVID-19 has put us in the worst economic situation since independence,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

“We are going to do everything in our power to get our economy moving as quickly as possible in the medium- and long-term.”