The Bahamas is under national lockdown for at least two weeks to control the spread of COVID-19 across the territory, said Dr. Hubert Minnis, the Bahamas’ prime minister. Minnis’ decision was based on health officials’ advice. The health officials will assess at the end of the two weeks to determine if the lockdown should be extended, he said
Most of the territory’s commercial sector will come to a halt in the lockdown
Take-out restaurant and curbside dining are also among them, along with most retail outlets except hardware stores. Grocery stores will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the general public and Saturdays for essential workers. Pharmacies will operate on specified days from curbside operations or take-out windows.
All businesses and offices are also required to suspend operations, with staff working remotely where possible, Minnis said. Shopping and people traveling in vehicles will be monitored by the Bahamas government. Private medical facilities will provide emergency medical care and immunization services on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The move comes weeks after the Bahamas re-opened its borders to U.S. travelers, provided all visitors went under mandatory 14-day quarantines. The territory had recently closed its borders to American travelers three days earlier, as sever U.S. states were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
No changes to the current travel policy were announced by Minnis during Monday’s address. While U.S. travelers were allowed to travel into the territory, visitors should bear the cost of the mandatory two-week quarantine in a government facility and the testing. They must also test negative for COVID-19 at the end of 14 days.
“We are taking the required and necessary measures to comprehensively battle COVID-19. Once we have reduced community spread, we can reopen parts of our economy again,” Minnis re-assures Bahamas residents.