The Bahamas government yesterday (Thursday) announced an eight hour curfew, while businesses, with limited exceptions, have been called upon to suspend their operations for an 11-day period as the country rolled our more measures to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told a news conference that the new orders, which go into effect from today (Friday), are designed to save lives.
The move comes less than 24 hours after Governor-General Cornelius Smith issued the “proclamation of emergency” giving the Minnis administration “the necessary and emergency powers to aggressively combat the COVID-19 emergency”.
Minnis told reporters that the curfew will be imposed from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am (local time) each night with exceptions approved by the Commissioner of Police.
He mandated that all establishments, institutions, businesses, offices, stores and organizations suspend operations to the general public except for wholesale or retail grocery stores and farmers’ markets; doctors’ offices, hospitals or medical facilities; pharmacies; gas stations; medical supply establishments; hotels; banks; commercial ports and related businesses; airports; laundromats; drive thru or take away food vendors, and construction companies.
The government said that subject to that order, all other establishments, institutions, businesses or offices inclusive of the public service, as may be authorized by permanent secretaries, shall work from home and such establishments, institutions, businesses or offices shall maintain only essential staff for the performance of core functions,
Businesses that are exempt will only be allowed to operate between 6:00 am and 5:00 pm and banks will be allowed to remain open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.