Extracted from Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’ Address in the House of Assembly on September 23, 2020
The Government of The Bahamas remains committed to the reopening of the economy in the area of tourism by mid-October, with the necessary protocols that must be put in place.
Tourism officials in the public and private sectors have been working very hard over many months to devise plans for the phased reopening, and will provide an update soon.
All citizens, residents and visitors should wear masks, stay physically distant and keep their hands sanitized and away from their faces. Because The Bahamas is an archipelago with varying circumstances, the government sought to modulate the various measures depending on the specific circumstances on each island. This is why various Schedules of Islands were created:
The islands of Andros, Acklins, Berry Islands (all cays), Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua and Mayaguana will now join the First Schedule of islands where curfew has been discontinued and commercial and most social activities are permitted, with physical distancing and mask wearing protocols.
Chub Cay, Harbour Island, Long Cay, Long Island, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Spanish Wells are already in the First Schedule of islands (where the curfew had already been discontinued and commercial and most social activities were permitted, with physical distancing and mask wearing protocols).
As several indicators are being tracked by health officials, the provisions under the current Emergency Powers Order will remain in place for Abaco for now. However, on Abaco, beaches may open daily between 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM.
On Grand Bahama, health officials recommend that a 10:00 PM – 5:00 AM curfew remain in effect. Health officials also recommend that beaches remain open daily on Grand Bahama, from 5:00 AM – 12:00 PM for the time being.
With the surging number of cases in New Providence, the provisions under the current Emergency Powers Order will remain in place.
Other updates and provisions have also been made:
Gyms will be permitted to open on all islands including New Providence and Abaco, subject to Ministry of Health approved guidelines.
Weddings on all islands in the country may be held in a religious facility following protocols and Ministry of Health approved guidelines currently in place for church services. On Abaco and New Providence, wedding receptions may be held outdoors only with physical distancing and mask wearing protocols.
On all other islands, wedding receptions may be held indoors and outdoors with physical distancing and mask wearing protocols.
Funeral services may be held in a religious facility on all islands, including Abaco and New Providence, following protocols and Ministry of Health approved guidelines currently in place for church services.
For Abaco and New Providence, graveside services/internment may be held with 10 people in attendance, not including the officiant and mortuary workers. Repasts are not permitted on Abaco and New Providence.
On all other islands, graveside services/internment may be held with 30 people in attendance. Repasts are permitted with no more than 20 in attendance.
NOTE: All Bahamas Ministry of Health approved guidelines may be found at www.opm.gov.bs