Bahamas Announces Lockdown of Two Islands

bahamas minnis

The Bahamas government has announced a two-week lockdown for Cat Island and North and Central Andros, effective 8:00 pm on Monday as the country moves to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Bahamas recorded 52 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including seven in Cat Island and nine in Andros. The country has recorded 222 deaths and 11, 296 positive cases since March last year.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, in a nationwide radio and television broadcast, said that only essential workers will be allowed to visit the islands during the lockdown.

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The Bahamas recorded 52 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including seven in Cat Island and nine in Andros.

“Every agency, business or establishment shall remain closed, except for the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Government community clinics, and COVID-19 vaccination sites.

“No individual, other than an essential worker, shall leave his or her place of residence for any purpose other than for the purpose of seeking urgent medical attention, to go to a vaccination site, or on prescribed days, to purchase food, water and other essential items. The administrator or a designee, is permitted to distribute food and water on behalf of the Government,” he said in the broadcast.

He said that food store owners may be permitted to restock their stores, after the arrival of the respective mailboat and the Seacorp.

“Food stores may be opened for two days, between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm after the mailboat has arrived. Residents may leave their homes, to go to the food store during the two days, immediately following the arrival of the mailboat only. Farmers are permitted to water their crops, between the hours of 5:00 am to 9:00 am.”

Prime Minister Minnis said that subsistence fishing will be permitted and that the commercial banks may reload their Automated Banking Machines.

“Gas stations may open on Fridays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm for government agencies only. Customs and Immigration will be able to fulfill their duties as needed. Security guard services will be permitted. Hotel workers carrying identification will be permitted to traverse to and from their places of employment.

Prime Minister Minnis said that residents of North and Central Andros will be allowed to harvest crabs during the lockdown.

He said also that the AUTEC’s Navy Base will be allowed to operate and Emile Knowles Construction Company will also be allowed to work on the government’s bridge project in Stainard Creek during a 12 hour period.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, has already dispatched officers to Cat Island, and North and Central Andros, to ensure that residents are not leaving these areas, and risking the greater spread of the COVID-19 virus, to other communities and islands,” Prime Minister Minnis said.