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Weekend lockdowns coming to an end; country moving into phase four of reopening

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis addresses the media during a virtual press conference. YONTALAY BOWE

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Thursday that the country is moving into phase four of the government’s re-opening plan, which allows restaurants, cultural facilities, gyms, cinemas, entertainment facilities, and hair and nail salons to open.

During a virtual press conference, the prime minster also announced an end to weekend lockdowns effective June 13.

Nightly curfews. from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m, will remain in effect, he said.

On Monday, June 8, beach and park restrictions will be removed for the islands of Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells, Exuma and San Salvador.

Beaches and parks on New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, and Bimini will remain closed.

A number of other restrictions will also be lifted as of Monday, June 8.

Exercise will be permitted 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. outside of residential neighborhoods.

Minnis said people may continue to exercise with their immediate family, but group exercise and sporting activities and events are still restricted.

All professional services and commercial activity may resume regular operating hours but must be closed by 7 p.m. daily.

Minnis said this does not include restaurants, bars, hair salons, barbers, cinemas, gyms and cultural and entertainment facilities, which are to remain closed.

Places of worship may resume regular office hours.

Fishing is allowed with more than two people in a vessel. Physical distancing and proper sanitization and hygiene measures are required. Masks should be worn.

Effective Friday, June 12, restaurants may re-open with outdoor seating only.

This includes restaurants at the Arawak Cay Fish Fry, and Potter’s Cay Dock. Minnis said all restaurants must follow industry COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.

Effective Monday, June 15, hair salons and barbershops may resume operations following certification by the Ministry of Health.

“All salons, spas and parlors wishing to open should produce a current business license, engage in deep cleaning of their salon and put procedures in place to maintain physical distancing, hand washing and sanitizing, and mask wearing to protect themselves and their clients,” Minnis said.

National exams, including the BJC and BGCSE, will be held July 13.

Minnis said more information will be provided during the budget debate.

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