Bahamas: COVID-19 restrictions relaxed amid Christmas

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Bahamas: In a national address to Bahamas, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced to relax the COVID-19 restrictions as Christmas season just arrived and overall controlled situation of the virus in the country.

PM said: “Churches and Religious services may be held during curfew house after 10 pm to an accommodate midnight mass and watch night services.” Social gatherings can take place with a maximum of 10 people. The provisions extend from December 24, 2020, up to January 3, 2020.

The following provisions will take effect from December 7, 2020. Whereas retail operators may open Sunday, December 13 and Sunday 20 from 6 am to 9 pm. Along with that, all gymnasiums and fitness clubs will reopen with strict guidelines.

The quarantine requirement for travellers from New Providence and Grand Bahama to other Family islands will be lifted, effective tomorrow, December 7. Travellers from Exuma to other islands will no longer be required to obtain an RT PCR COVID-19 test.

The Unemployment benefit will be extended, and food distribution will continue into the first quarter of 2021. Over 100,000 Bahamains have benefited.

Prime Minister also extolled that 36,959 Bahamains have been assisted and payouts have totalled over $70 million, and the government of Bahamas will continue the excellent work for the people.

Desmond Bannister will serve as Deputy Prime Minister

Prime Minister Minnis also made a major announcement during his address by making Desmond Bannister, the Minister of Works to Deputy Prime Minister of Bahamas. “Because of his portfolio which includes capital works and infrastructure, and because of his experience and good counsel, he will be part of the economic team,” said PM Minnis.

Apart from this, PM appointed Kwasi Thompson as Minister of State for Finance. During his speech, he added that as Minister of Finance he has asked him to focus on the economic necessities and recovery of Grand Bahama, family island development and the ongoing digital transformation of the Bahamas and the government.

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