Bahamas announces slight relaxation of COVID-19 rules

Bahamas announces slight relaxation of COVID-19 rules

Thursday, October 29, 2020

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NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC)— The Bahamas government hasannounced a slight relaxation of COVID-19 rules, but warned that Bahamians must get used to cycles that involve tightening and loosening of restrictions because the pandemic will be “with us well into next year”.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis who was speaking during a press conference, held just days before the territorywelcomes visitors and returning residents without requiring that they quarantine for 14 days.

However, the Prime Minister said that all beaches and parks in New Providence and Abaco will open starting Monday, but could not provide a timeframe forwhen the country's state of emergency — currently extended until November 30 — will come to an end.

Concerning weddings and funerals on Grand Bahama, he saidthey will be limited to 10 people, not including officiants and mortuary workers

On tourism related issues, the Prime Minister said that health officials are expected to give more information about protocols for the reopening of tourism before Sunday.

The Prime Minister, who is a medical doctor, also warned that the pandemic is far from over.

“Sadly, the northern hemisphere is likely heading into the worst period of the pandemic. With fall already here and winter coming, colder countries face a very challenging winter. More individuals will be indoors in these places. The virus spreads easier indoors where there is poor ventilation,” he said.

The Prime Minister noted that until “there is an effective vaccine and the overwhelming majority of Bahamians are vaccinated, we will have cycles where cases go up and cases go down. This will occur because the virus spreads easily, especially when we do not wear masks or go to social events, including family gatherings, where the virus may quickly and easily spread.”

He added that “when cases go up on a particular island, we will have to increase restrictions, if necessary.”

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