Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Bahamas enforces lockdown through July 27 due to COVID-19; 1900-0500 curfew from July 27. International travel restrictions revised.
- Alert Begins: 25 Jul 2020 01:02 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 30 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Commercial and transport disruptions
Authorities in the Bahamas announced revisions to existing internal movement restrictions and international travel restrictions related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of July 25. A weekend lockdown is in effect for all of the Bahamas until 0500 July 27, with an extended lockdown on Grand Bahama until Aug. 7. During the weekend lockdown, only grocery stores, pharmacies, and fuel stations are permitted to open 0700-1800. Construction work may also continue. Only inter-island freight transport is permitted. Other measures will be enforced after the weekend lockdown concludes.
Nationwide Measures (except Grand Bahama)
Beginning July 27, the previously enforced 2200-0500 curfew will be expanded and replaced by a 1900-0500 curfew on all islands except Grand Bahama. Other measures across these islands from July 27 are:
- Commercial activity may resume, but businesses must close by 1800.
- Restaurants may only offer takeaway, curbside, and delivery services.
- Salons, barbershops, and spas may only have one client per service provider in the building at a time.
- Gyms are to remain closed.
- All congregate activities are prohibited, including in-person religious services, sporting events, group exercise, and all social gatherings.
- Funerals are permitted at the graveside only, with a maximum number of five people, including the officiant. Weddings are permitted with a maximum number of five people.
- Inter-island travel will only be permitted 0500 July 27-1900 July 28. During this time, all travelers returning to the Family Islands from New Providence will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Grand Bahama Measures
Lockdown orders will remain in effect through 0500 Aug. 7. Residents may not leave their homes except for urgent medical care or essential purposes. During this period, the following measures will be in place:
- Grand Bahama's air and sea ports will be closed to all travel except for cargo and emergency transportation.
- Food stores may open Monday-Friday 0700-1700 for the general public, and Saturdays 0700-1700 for essential workers only.
- Pharmacies, water depots, fuel stations, and sanitation companies may open Monday-Friday 0700-1300 for the general public, and Saturdays 0700-1300 for essential workers only.
- Construction work for hurricane restoration or preparation may continue.
- All congregate activities are prohibited; however, funerals are permitted at the graveside only, with a maximum number of five people, including the officiant.
As of July 25, authorities have reversed the ban on international commercial passenger flights (excluding the UK, European Union, and Canada), which was due to have taken effect July 22. International commercial flights may enter Bahamas (except Grand Bahama), but all travelers, regardless of country of origin, are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a government facility upon arrival at their own expense. Private international and charter flights, as well as pleasure craft and yachts, were not included in the previous travel ban. Local and international cargo, and emergency aircraft and sea vessels continue to operate normally.
All establishments in the Bahamas must adhere to physical distancing and sanitization protocols. Individuals are required to wear a protective facemask in public areas. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice, and previously lifted measures may be reapplied.
Background and Analysis
Several regional governments have begun implementing recovery plans to lift restrictive measures introduced in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) March 11. The recent reversal of some recovery initiatives highlights that relaxed restrictions may be reapplied if the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increases. This is especially likely on the more densely populated islands of Grand Bahama, Bimini, and New Providence, where the capital and commercial hub, Nassau, is located. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.