PM to announce the end of full weekend lockdowns
As of Monday, the islands of New Providence and Abaco will no longer have full weekend lockdowns, according to sources close to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who is expected to announce an end to weekend lockdowns when he addresses the nation on Sunday at 5pm.
However, a nightly curfew will be enforced on weekends as is currently the case on weekdays. OPM insiders did not indicate whether curfew would remain at 8pm to 5am or go back to 10pm to 5am.
On Sunday, Minnis is also expected to announce eased restrictions for funerals and weddings, the elimination of curbside shopping and the resumption of outdoor dining on New Providence.
The decision to roll back these and other restrictions comes as the Ministry of Health reports a decrease in new Covid-19 cases.
The government has also faced pushback from Bahamians who questioned why tourists staying at hotels near beaches should be able to access beaches on weekends when Bahamians are stuck at home. The policy, which has been slammed as “discriminatory”, allows hotels close to beaches to apply for special permission for their guests to access beaches. Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar called it a trade-off to get the economy back up and running.
Health officials reported 31 new cases on Friday - 15 on New Providence, 7 on Grand Bahama, 6 on Eleuthera, 2 on Exuma and 1 on Abaco.
However, skeptics believe the drop in new cases is a reflection of a drop in COVID testing.