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PM could announce changes to restrictions as early as today

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis could ease curfew and lockdown measures as early as today, Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, health advisor to the prime minister, suggested yesterday.

“It is anticipated that he will announce early as tomorrow what will happen in terms of changes with the restrictive measures that are currently in place,” she said at a Ministry of Health press conference yesterday.

Shortly after The Bahamas recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus in March, a state of emergency was declared, non-essential businesses were ordered closed, a curfew was imposed and social distancing measures were implemented.

Some Family Islands with no COVID-19 cases have been allowed to resume normal commercial activity while still observing the curfew and weekend lockdowns.

In his national address on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the government is looking to have commercial flights resume by July 1. In the previously announced planned phased reopening of the country, the resumption of international flights is listed under phase five. The Bahamas has been in phase one for weeks now.

Asked if it is realistic to expect the country will move to phase five in a period of roughly six weeks, Dahl-Regis said only Minnis can say, but said there has been notable progress in the local fight against COVID-19.

“Given the trajectory that we are having now, given the low number of new cases, the decrease in COVID hospitalizations, the decrease in the number of ICU beds, the system is performing well,” she said.

“And we would certainly share that information with the prime minister to guide his timetable for reopening of the country.”

There are 97 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

Eleven people have died and 44 have recovered so far.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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