Bullocks Harbour and Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands will be placed on a two-week lockdown in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) announced today.
The lockdown will take effect tomorrow at 8 p.m., OPM said.
“Travel to and from Bullocks Harbour and Great Harbour Cay is prohibited during the lockdown, except for essential workers (Royal Bahamas Police Force, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, healthcare professionals), mailboat operators, or as otherwise approved by the Competent Authority,” a statement from OPM states.
In recent weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases has steadily increased on the island.
Eighty-one cases have been confirmed in the Berry Islands in total, 24 of which were recorded this month.
“There will be no in-person activities permitted,” the OPM statement continued.
“Every agency, business or establishment shall remain closed except for the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Government Community Clinic and COVID-19 vaccination sites.
“No person, other than an essential worker (Royal Bahamas Police Force, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, healthcare professionals), shall leave his or her place of residence for any purpose other than for the purpose of seeking urgent medical attention or on prescribed days to purchase food, water and other essential items.”
The statement indicated that the island administrator or a designee is permitted to distribute food and water on behalf of the government or the National Food Distribution Task Force only.
OPM said the National Food Distribution Task Force has organized a vessel to deliver adequate food and water supplies to Bullocks Harbour and Great Harbour Cay.
The vessel is expected to arrive by Sunday.
OPM said the mail boat will be permitted to deliver food and other essential supplies to the Berry Islands. Food stores will be permitted to offload supplies, restock and provide services to the public during the two days immediately following the arrival of the M/V Gurth Dean Mailboat.
“The Royal Bahamas Defence Force has been mobilized to monitor waters surrounding the Berry Islands,” the statement added.
“Health teams are currently in the Berry Islands to carry out contact tracing and administer of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents who choose to receive the vaccine.
“Health officials also continue to monitor the progress of the COVID-19 virus on the islands of Cat Island and Andros, where outbreaks are also occurring. Surveillance and vaccination teams have also been deployed to Cat Island and Andros.
“Persons traveling to and from Cat Island and Andros will be required to produce a negative RT PCR test, no greater than five days before date of travel, or provide documentation to prove full vaccination. This includes public officers. Harvesting of crabs on Andros will be permitted during curfew hours between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.”