Wednesday, March 18, 2020

STATE OF EMERGENCY: COVID-19 regulations allow for mandatory detention, isolation and curfew

By Ava Turnquest

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is expected to introduce regulations in Parliament today that will allow sweeping executive powers once a public state of emergency is declared over the threat of COVID-19.

A draft proclamation order, regulations and resolution obtained by Eyewitness News, and dated March 17, indicate the state of emergency could be extended for up to six weeks.

The Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 provides for the detention and mandatory isolation of people suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, and related screening requirements; requisition of private property and essential services; mandatory curfew; restriction of access to any area; and criminalize the publication of false statements.

It provides for the Governor General to authorize international or regional military or police forces to serve as peace officers and assist in: the storage, safe keeping or distribution of relief supplies; the provision of any essential services; and the maintenance of public order”.

Anyone believed to be in violation of the regulations, or obstructs an official in the carriage of their duties commits an offense. Once convicted, a magistrate can impose a fine up to $10,000, a prison term up to 18 months, or both.  Read more >>

View Proclamation of Emergency
View Arrangement and Regulations
View Resolution