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PM walks back hotel restaurant restrictions for locals

Three days after he amended the Emergency Order to ban Bahamians from eating at hotel restaurants without a negative Covid-19 RT PCR test, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis signed a new amendment on Monday, which enables locals to present a cheaper $14 rapid antigen test to eat indoors at hotel restaurants or present no test at all to eat outdoors at hotel restaurants.

Insiders tell the Gallery that the Competent Authority faced immense pressure to reverse course from major FNM financial backers the Holoweskos whose hotel restaurants are popular among Bahamians.

The Holoweskos own Island House, which is home to Mahogany restaurant and sushi restaurant Shima.

Following the first amendment, signed on Christmas Day, Bahamians would have had to take a $134 Covid-19 RT PCR test in order to eat at hotel restaurants. As a result, a couple dining together would have to pay $268 just to enter the restaurant.

Minnis was hasty and thoughtless in his rush to ban Bahamians from hotel restaurants after police wrongfully ticketed patrons dining at Latitudes restaurant on Wednesday night.

Officers were ordered to cancel the tickets after Latitudes’ attorney Wayne Munroe QC called Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle and pointed out that the Emergency Order permits hotels, which Latitudes is, to offer in-door dining.

Emergency Powers (Covid 19 Pandemic)(Ris
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