The Bahamas looking to reopen international borders come July

Prime Minister of The Bahamas Dr Hubert Minnis (Photo: OPM.gov.bs)

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is gearing to officially reopen its international borders come Wednesday, July 1, even as it gradually allows sections of the economy to resume operations.

In a statement on Thursday (May 28) Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said that while the country looks to enter its third phase of the national coronavirus response, he warned citizens and tourists to remember that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still active.

“Because we are making progress, we are moving into Phase 3 of the reopening of the economy and the country. Even as we reopen, we must remember that we are living in a new normal, in which we must continue to practice: physical distancing, proper sanitisation and wearing masks,” he explained.

Minnis, speaking in Parliament on Thursday, advised that the Monday-to-Friday 24-hour curfew is to be lifted, effective Tuesday, June 2.

What’s more, a resolution to extend the state of emergency to Monday, June 29 was tabled in the House of Assembly.

“As of Tuesday, a new and reduced curfew, from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am, Monday to Friday will come into effect for all islands of the Bahamas. Weekend lockdowns will continue from Fridays 9:00 pm to Mondays 5:00 am for all islands of the Bahamas,” Minnis said.

Bahamians will be allowed, however, to exercise in their immediate neighborhood during the weekend lockdowns.

Also effective Tuesday, June 2, public beaches and parks will be open for use on all islands of The Bahamas—with the exception of Bimini, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Harbour Island, New Providence and Paradise Island, and San Salvador.

In-sanctuary worship services may now take place in the sanctuary on Saturdays and Sundays, between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm, on New Providence, Grand Bahama and Bimini, according to health protocols. 

Revised order takes effect as of Saturday, June 6.

Additionally, commencement and graduation ceremonies, funerals, and weddings, in groups of no more than thirty may take place with the approval of the competent authority, come Tuesday, June 2.

The Bahamas has confirmed 101 COVID-19 cases to date, with roughly 44 per cent of the national caseload being active infections.

Eleven patients have died and another 46 have completely recovered.

A state of emergency was declared on March 18; the commonwealth closed its borders on March 27.