Summary
 

Authorities in the Bahamas will enforce new curfew measures and other restrictions in New Providence, Abaco, and Grand Bahama from Oct. 30 as part of the nation's ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response. Restrictions on gatherings will also be tightened on Grand Bahama. Measures elsewhere remain mostly unchanged, including nationwide requirements to adhere to social distancing and sanitization protocols and to wear a facemask in public.

Second Schedule Islands
Beginning Oct. 30the weekday curfew will be scaled back from 1900-0500 to 2000-0500 in New Providence and Abaco and will be introduced in Grand Bahama. A 24-hour weekend curfew will continue to be enforced 1900 Fridays-0500 Mondays in New Providence and Abaco. Only essential businesses such as food stores, pharmacies, gas stations, construction sites, and laundromats are not permitted to operate during the 24-hour weekend curfew; however, the National Food Distribution Task Force will operate during these periods. In Abaco, however, food stores may open on Saturdays 0600-1900. Air and sea ports will continue to operate normally.

In Grand Bahama, weddings and funerals (graveside only) will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people in attendance. In Abaco and New Providence, most measures remain the same, with only some revisions effective Oct. 30:

 

  • All social gatherings are prohibited.
  • Everyone who can work from home should.
  • Restaurants may only offer take-away, curbside and delivery services.
  • Retail stores may offer curbside services only. Gas stations are also not permitted to provide in-store services.
  • Schools are closed to in-person teaching.
  • Parks and gyms are to remain closed.
  • Effective Nov. 2, beaches may reopen 0500-2000 Monday-Friday, with a maximum of five people per group.
  • Exercise is permitted in one’s neighborhood 0500-0900 on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Weddings and graveside funerals are limited to 10 people in attendance only. Wedding receptions, wakes and repasts are not permitted.
  • Worship services are permitted for one hour on weekends between 0700-1300. Churches may also offer individual/private prayer during the week.

 

First Schedule Islands
Normal commercial activity and most social activities have resumed on all remaining islands, including the Family Islands of Acklins, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua, and Mayaguana, as well as Chub Cay, Long Cay, Long Island, Harbour Island, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Spanish Wells. Church services, funerals, and weddings may proceed, but physical distancing protocols must be adhered to, and individuals must wear facemasks. Social gatherings are to be limited to 20 people.

International and Domestic Travel
International commercial and private flights, as well as sea vessels, may enter the Bahamas. 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. Travelers must also present a negative COVID-19 test certificate taken no more than five days before travel. Travelers who fail to present this document will be denied entry. Contact tracing applications must be installed on smartphones. All inter-island travel has resumed; however, domestic travelers may also be subject to the quarantine protocols. Travelers may need to present a negative COVID-19 test depending on the islands they are traveling between. Local and international cargo and emergency aircraft and sea vessels continue to operate.

Background and Analysis

All measures are subject to change at short notice. Relaxed restrictions may be reapplied on First Schedule Islands 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.

Advice

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. 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.

 

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