Hours for grocery shopping have been extended to 10pm through Thursday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced today.
The announcement was made as Bahamians lined up outside grocery stores, many of whom waited for hours in anticipation of a full lockdown, which takes effect tomorrow at 9pm.
On Thursday, a two-shift system allows members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) and healthcare professionals to shop between 6 a.m. and noon.
The 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift will be open to all those who work in essential services, including fire services, immigration, Water and Sewerage, prison and customs officers, NIB and social workers, among others.
Individuals must wear masks in order to be granted entry at food stores.
In addition, on Thursday, pharmacies will be allowed to open until 3 p.m.
A food store schedule was implemented on Monday to limit the number of people at food stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, stores have been inundated with shoppers.
Dr. Minnis said due to the rush at the food stores in New Providence, baked goods and water stocks are expected to be compromised.
As a result, he said bakeries and water depots will be allowed to open to replenish stocks during the shutdown period, which will end on Tuesday at 5 a.m.
Dr. Minnis assured that there is sufficient food in the country.
There have been 33 confirmed cases of the virus in the country – 27 on New Providence, five on Grand Bahama and one on Bimini.
Six people have died from the virus and five patients have recovered.