Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Minnis Hints at Extension of Emergency Order Until Vaccine Availability

In Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’s New Years National address on Wednesday, many Bahamians expected an announcement of relaxation of COVID-19 measures.

Instead, Minnis cautioned a tightening of measures if the COVID-19 cases rise before the arrival of vaccines into the country.

“It is possible that cases will rise again before vaccines arrive,” he said. “If this happens, as a government and people, we will have to return to some of the measures that worked to beat back previous waves.

“Through our experience during the pandemic year, we now know the formula that works. Tough times do not scare us. Difficult circumstances do not break our resolve,” he said.

Some social media posters were critical of the address, asking for Dr. Minnis to address when the COVID-19 restrictions will be further relaxed.

However, Minnis emphasized in his address that the reopening of the country depends on the successful distribution of the vaccine, which he expects in the coming months.

“Thankfully, because there are now successful vaccines for COVID-19, our country, and our economy, are set to reopen more fully in the months ahead.

“The end is in sight. Restrictions will end. We will get back to our way of life. Jobs and the economy, are coming back, he promised.

This means the emergency order is expected to extend beyond January 31, 2021.

In November of last year, the House of Assembly passed a resolution for a two-month extension of the emergency order.

Minnis at the time said when the emergency orders help in lowering cases, the restrictive measures will be reversed, permitting residents to live a more normal life.

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