Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Updated: Most New Providence Businesses Can Open On August 31, No Hard Lockdown Needed

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaking Monday. Photo: Patrick Hanna/BIS

Tribune Chief Reporter

AS he announced that most businesses in New Providence will be allowed to reopen on August 31, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said new COVID-19 data suggests no hard lockdown is needed at this time for the island.

However, Dr Minnis said the lockdown provisions now in place will remain until 5am next Monday in a bid to continue the slow of the deadly virus in the capital.

It was a sharp reversal for Dr Minnis, who just last week announced an immediate seven day near full lockdown for New Providence in response to the COVID-19 crisis - his strongest restrictions yet.

That decision was reversed in less than 24 hours after public outcry.

Asked what warranted the change from then to yesterday, Dr Marceline Dahl-Regis - special advisor to the prime minister - said new data that had just been analysed within the last 48 hours painted a different picture.

According to Dr Dahl-Regis, sifting through the backlog of cases also shaped the decision to reopen on August 31 and a recommendation that residents in Nassau did not need to be severely restricted.

Effective August 31, New Providence restaurants can provide outdoor dining, curbside service, take-away and delivery.

Both the Fish Fry and Potter’s Cay Dock will be allowed to offer curbside, takeaway and delivery. Construction activities and hardware stores will continue as usual while other retailers will be permitted to offer curbside and delivery services.

Dr Minnis also said offices and other businesses will be permitted to operate with physical distancing restrictions.

Individuals will be permitted to exercise outside from 5am to 9am while beaches will also be open for a short window—from 5am to 9am daily.  Read more >>