Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Thursday that The Bahamas is moving into phase three of the government’s phased reopening plan, which allows the opening of non-essential businesses with only the workers essential for the businesses to function.
This phase will also see limited educational operations, such as the sitting of national exams.
Restrictions on weddings, funerals and social gatherings will also be relaxed, and beaches and parks will be reopened on some islands with social distancing still required.
The prime minister said effective Tuesday, public beaches and parks will be open on all islands expect for Bimini, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Harbour Island, New Providence, Paradise Island, and San Salvador.
The prime minister also signaled an end to the 24-hour curfew.
Effective Tuesday, June 2, there will be a curfew between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for all islands of The Bahamas. Weekend lockdowns will continue.
Regarding the upcoming Labour Day and Whit Monday holidays, Minnis said the weekend lockdown will be extended to cover those days. However, he said residents will be allowed to go to the food store or to restaurants that offer curb side service.
He said during this time, exercise will be permitted from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. in neighborhoods.
During these holidays, food stores and restaurants will be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Minnis also informed the House of Assembly that church services may now take place in sanctuary between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays on New Providence and Grand Bahama and Bimini effective June 6.
Effective Tuesday, graduation ceremonies, funerals and weddings may take place with 30 people.
Gaming houses will be permitted to open with physical distancing protocols effective Tuesday.
Bars, gyms, hair salons and barber shops, movie theatres, cultural facilities and entertainment facilities remain closed on New Providence, Grand Bahama and Bimini.
We are entering a new frontier,” the prime minister said. “If we do not collectively observe these measures, the country may have to revert to earlier phases.
“…Very soon we will be completely open.
“Our economic survival depends on each and every Bahamian doing their part.”
Minnis said there remains 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas. The last case was confirmed on May 23.
“This implies that our measures of social distancing, lockdowns and curfews have been working,” he said.
“We have saved many lives.”