Prime Minister Minnis announces reopening of beaches, gyms and public transportation

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced in the House of Assembly today that the country has started to move into Phase 5 of the phased re-opening of the economy and social activities. 

However, he urged Bahamians and residents to continue to be careful and vigilant as the country re-opens.

“We should not be complacent. We will continue to enforce health measures, but government cannot do this alone,” said Prime Minister Minnis. “We are still in this together.”

In his contribution to the 2020/21 Budget Debate, the Prime Minister announced that the Emergency Powers are to be extended through the month of July 2020 and that a new 10pm to 5am curfew will come into effect on Monday 22 June.

Businesses may also operate until 8pm daily beginning Monday 22 June.

Also, as of Monday 22 June, indoor dinning at restaurants will be allowed with physical distancing required, sanitization, and mask wearing by all staff at all times, and patrons when entering and exiting the establishment.

Maximum seating will be based on 50 percent occupancy, meaning 30 square feet per person.

Vendors at Arawak Cay may continue outdoor dining but are not permitted for indoor dining at this time, said Prime Minister Minnis. 

The Prime Minister said roadside vendors will be standardized to ensure that proper structures, hygiene and sanitization protocols are in place.   

Effective Wednesday, 1 July 2020, gyms and outdoor group exercise may reopen with health safety protocols approved by the Ministry of Health.  

Spas may also reopen with health safety protocols approved by the Ministry of Health.  

The Prime Minister also announced the opening of public parks and beaches on New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and Bimini, effective Monday, 29th June, 2020.

Gatherings greater than five people are prohibited, he said.  

Funeral services in a church or religious facility may be held with numbers based on the physical distancing protocols established for Saturday/Sunday services.

The graveside parts of the services are however, still limited to thirty people, with physical distancing and masks.

Weddings may be held with numbers based on the physical distancing protocols established for Saturday/Sunday services.        

There is no need to apply to the Competent Authority as it relates to funerals or weddings, said Prime Minister Minnis.

Social gatherings in private facilities and homes may be held with up to 20 or less individuals, with physical distancing, sanitization, and mask wearing. 

Effective Wednesday, 1st July, 2020, taxi services may resume based on guidelines in the Ministry of Tourism And Aviation’s, Bahamas Tourism Readiness & Recovery Plan.  

Private and public bus services may resume, with 50 percent occupancy based on guidelines contained in the Ministry of Tourism’s Bahamas Tourism Readiness & Recovery Plan, effective Wednesday, 1st July, 2020

The Prime Minister said that establishments, taxi and bus owners are to be held responsible for “letting mask-less patrons enter their respective establishments and ensuring that occupancy is limited to enable physical distancing.”

“If the requirements to wear masks and physical distance are not adhered to by patrons because the owner failed to enforce the requirements, a fine is to be applied to the establishment owner,” said Prime Minister Minnis.  

“A second violation will lead to a second fine at a higher quantum. A third violation will lead to a temporary closing of the facility until health officials can be satisfied that the continued operations of the establishment would not pose a health risk to the community.”