Saturday, July 2, 2022


Minnis Announces Curfew Changes As Country Reopens in ‘Several Months’

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced immediate changes to the Emergency Order during his long-anticipated speech in the House of Assembly today, as he expects the country to fully reopen in the coming months.

“Our aim, here in the Bahamas is to fully reopen our country in several months if various conditions are met and advised by health officials,” he said.

The curfew in New Providence has been adjusted–11 pm to 5 am. Dr Minnis said he anticipates that in the coming months, the curfew for New Providence will eventually move to midnight, “depending on the outcome.”

In addition, Dr Minnis announced new curfew changes for Grand Bahama, which will see its curfew adjustment from 11 pm to midnight until 5 am.

Dr Minnis then joked with one of his Cabinet  Ministers from Grand Bahama, “Michael Pintard, Minister of Agriculture, I know that you would like to go out partying. And if GrandBahama stays as is, once you’re out partying, by one o’clock you will be home, so we will move Grand Bahama to one o’clock.”

In Abaco, the adjusted curfew is 11 pm to 5 am. The curfew for Cat Island and North and Central Andros is now 10 pm to 5 am.

Dr Minnis also announced the removal of curfews for the Berry Islands, South Andros and Mangrove Cay.

“…enjoy yourself, but still adhere to the protocols,” he said to the residents on islands, where curfews were lifted.

Dr Minnis also announced the immediate removal of PCR testing to travel from Grand Bahama, Cat Island and Andros.

As of July 1st, vaccinated individuals will no longer need to pay the $10 fee to acquire a health visa.

Funerals and memorial services in New Providence are now permitted to be held in a church facility in accordance with the guidelines of the Bahamas Christian Council. However, repass remain prohibited.

As for weddings, Dr Minnis said the host has to ensure that everyone in attendance is vaccinated. Private gatherings and social events are allowed as long as all attendees are vaccinated, he said.

A group of fifteen people can now attend beaches in New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, mainland Abaco, Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Great and Little Exuma.

The number of people permitted to gather on beaches once stood at 5 people.

The big picture

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of last year, Dr Minnis as the competent authority, implemented a national curfew of 9 pm and 5 am, advising the public that it would prevent the further spread of the virus. It was eventually changed to 10 pm for various islands.

Curfews on some islands like Andros, Acklins, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Inagua, and Mayaguana were discontinued and commercial and most social activities were permitted in September.

However, the rise and fall of COVID-19 cases again forced the shutdown and adjustments of curfews on some specified islands.


Abaco to See Tightening of Curfew as COVID-19 Infections Climb

The restrictions in Abaco will be tightened to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 on that island.

According to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, health officials recommend that the curfew for that island be readjusted from 8 pm to 5 am.

Minnis said there is “no outbreak” on the island but the restrictions are to curtail infections.

State of play

It was discovered that –

  • a few cases of COVID-19 were found at the Murphy Town Primary School in Central Abaco;
  • four (4) positive cases originated from a construction site; and
  • six (6) cases were confirmed to have originated from the Marsh Harbour Clinic.

Currently, no cases were reported in Sandy Point, and eleven tests are pending.

Contact tracing activities are ongoing, and the relevant staff will be placed in quarantine or isolation as required.

Consequently, the Marsh Harbour Clinic has undergone deep cleaning and sanitization and the Marsh Harbour Clinic remains open for service.

A team from the Surveillance Unit in New Providence has been dispatched to initiate contact tracing and to determine the level of exposure to the employees of the clinic and visiting clients.

Three nurses have been sent as support staff to the Marsh Harbour Clinic and two more nurses are expected to arrive soon. As it stands, there is a sufficient number of physicians on the island to manage the COVID-19 cases.

Minnis Imposes Strict Measures for Exuma Too

Exuma’s COVID-19 cases are spiking, and like Eleuthera, restricted measures will be imposed to contain the spread of the infectious virus, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced on Wednesday night.

Why it matters

Thirty new cases of the virus were recorded for the week. As of November 10th, 79 total cases were recorded for the island, 29 are active cases, 2 individuals are hospitalized and one death was recorded due to COVID-19.

What are the new measures for the island?

The cays are excluded.

  • The 24-hour weekend curfew will be implemented beginning Friday 13th from 6 pm to 5 am.
  • During the weekend lockdown, businesses will be closed.
  • Weekday curfew is 6 pm to 5 am beginning Thursday 12th.
  • Businesses are permitted to open during the weekday, but Fishfry, bars, and restaurants connected to bars are not allowed to operate.
  • Domestic travel is prohibited in and out of Exuma.
  • A negative PCR test is required if an individual must travel from Exuma.
  • Grave-side funerals are permitted, only with a limited number of 10 people, excluding the officiant.
  • Weddings are limited to 10 people, excluding the officiant.
  • Repass and receptions are forbidden.
  • Churches can hold virtual services.
  • 10 people allowed in-person church services.
  • No in-person class sessions.

What PM Minnis said

  • Dr. Minnis said the data show that the situation in Exuma needs urgent action, thus officials have increased the nursing team on the island. A team will visit the island to further assess the situation.
  • He said the measures are short notice but they are essential to curtailing the spread on that island


All You Need to Know About New Restrictions for NP, Abaco and Eleuthera

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis loosened restrictions for New Providence and Abaco, while tightening measures for Eleuthera.

Why it matters

The number of COVID-19 cases in New Providence and Abaco has slowed and health officials say they are encouraged by the decrease, while cases have heightened in Eleuthera, causing concern as the island battle 117 cases.

Key points

New Providence and Abaco

  • The 24-hour weekend curfew was lifted on New Providence and Abaco, replaced with a 6 pm to 5 am curfew on weekends.
  • Beginning tomorrow, Monday 9th, a new weekday curfew imposed from 9 pm to 5 am  in NP and Abaco. The curfew will be implemented in Grand Bahama on weekdays and weekends.
  • Retail businesses and pharmacies can begin in-store services, Monday to Saturday.
  • Grocery stores can reopen to the public on Saturdays, restocking on Sundays.
  • Arawak Cay can restart outdoor dining Monday to Friday.
  • Hotels can resume in-door dining.
  • Beaches and parks are opened to the public on weekends from 5 am to 6 pm. Groups are still limited to 5 people.


Excludes Spanish Wells and Harbour Island

  • Effective this week, a 24-hour weekend curfew will begin at 6 pm every Friday to 5 am every Monday.
  • A daily curfew will be imposed from 6 pm to 5 am.
  • Businesses can operate during the week but can not operate on weekends.
  • Bars and restaurants will be closed.
  • Funerals and weddings are restricted to 10 people, excluding officiant; graveside services permitted only; no wedding receptions permitted.
  • No indoor church services allowed.
  • No in-person classes permitted.

Featured image: OPM Communications Unit