Wednesday, March 18, 2020

State of emergency

Governor General C.A. Smith

Governor General C.A. Smith will declare a state of public emergency in The Bahamas today due to the presence of COVID-19 in the country, documents obtained by The Nassau Guardian show.

The declaration will be made in an emergency proclamation, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament today, and allows the governor general, under the Emergency Powers Act, to make regulations for securing public safety and the defense of The Bahamas, among other things.

The Nassau Guardian understands that the government will also table the Emergency Powers (COVID 19) Regulations, 2020, today.

The regulations grant wide-ranging powers to the prime minister that will allow for, among other things, the detention of people infected with COVID-19 or those who traveled to infected places; the possible prohibition of assembly of two or more people in any specific area; the requisition of any building, ship or aircraft; a curfew; social distancing and isolation orders; restricted access to specified areas; and the prohibition of publishing or re-posting false stories.

The regulations state that any person who contravenes the provisions commits an offense and is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 18 months or both.  Read more >>