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Two-week lockdown for GB

The government has imposed a two-week lockdown on Grand Bahama, starting on Thursday to slow and control the community spread of the coronavirus, according to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis who announced tighter restrictions for the island during a live news conference outside Cabinet Office this morning.

The lockdown will take effect from Thursday, July 23 to Friday August 7.

As of this evening, all domestic flights in and out of Grand Bahama will cease.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force will form a perimeter around the island to prevent boats from leaving, according to Minnis.

Minnis urged residents not to crowd food stores, which will be allowed to operate from Monday to Friday at 7am to 5pm. Water Depots, gas stations and pharmacies will be allowed to open on weekdays from 7am to 1pm along with the island’s Humane Society.

Essential workers can access food stores, pharmacies, gas stations and water depots on Saturdays from 7am - 1pm.

Food vouchers will be distributed to 14,000 residents.

Funerals may only be held at the graveside with a maximum of 10 people.

Minnis said residents should not leave their homes unless they have to purchase food, medicine and water, or are essential workers.

On Sunday, he said they should not leave their homes for any purpose other than for an emergency or if they are essential workers.

Grand Bahama has seen a significant increase in cases and has been classified as a Covid-19 hotspot by health officials, according to Minnis.

“Today, we are in an emergency situation,” he said.

59 cases of COVID are on Grand Bahama. 51 of those cases were recorded since borders reopened on July 1.

Minnis said the number of cases is expected to increase if the population fails to practice safety measures.

From July 18 to July 20, a team from the Ministry of Health was mobilized on the island to assist with testing and contact tracing. The team also provided public health and clinical support.

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