Beaches connected to hotels to remain open during weekend lockdowns
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The latest emergency orders implements a fine of $1,000 for individuals in New Providence and Grand Bahama who do not submit to a second COVID-19 test five days after entry into the country.
The Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic)(NO.10) Order, 2020, outlines varying restrictions for the islands of The Bahamas and businesses, grouped under six schedules.
It maintains countrywide guidelines on mask-wearing, social distancing, and sanitizing, and for every person who leaves their residence to carry government-issued identification.
The latest orders provide for a new testing strategy before and after arrival for the reopening of the tourism sector after weeks of closure.
Every person traveling is required to obtain a travel visa that should be presented to the carrier agent at the point of boarding.
Applicants will have to provide a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test, valid for five days from when the test was taken and pay a fee.
Citizens or residents will have to pay $40,
Visitors staying for four nights or less will also pay $40 and those staying five nights or more will pay $60 for the visa.
Children under the age of 10 and pilots and crew members of commercial air operators are not required to obtain a travel health visa.
The order provides for secondary testing, five days after individuals come into the country.
If the individual tests positive, that person will have to take a RT PCR COVID-19 test and quarantine until the results are obtained.
Once the second diagnosis is given, individuals will have to submit to mandatory quarantine for 14 days for the duration of the stay in the country.
Anyone on New Providence or Grand Bahama who fails to take the test commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $1,000 or one month in prison.
Additionally, anyone who, within a 14-day period after entry into The Bahamas, shows COVID-19 symptoms will have to take a rapid test.
If a positive diagnosis is received of a “symptomatic visitor”, that person will be tested once again.
The order does not indicate will happen with the visitor once that person is confirmed positive.
Fines will also be imposed for anyone who commits an offence against the order on New Providence and Grand Bahama.
The order also provides for inter-island travel for all islands and inter-island commercial flights are permitted to operate throughout The Bahamas.
Every person traveling is required to obtain a travel visa that should be presented to the carrier agent at the point of embarkation.
A person traveling from New Providence will be required to provide a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test and apply for a travel visa.
As of November 2, the mandatory quarantined period will expire and protocols for secondary testing will replace the measure.
Individuals traveling through New Providence to other islands within 24-hours will not have to obtain a further travel visa or quarantine.
Individuals traveling from the Family Islands to New Providence are not required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test before travel, but will have to follow the testing protocol when departing the island.
Islands listed in the first schedule include Acklins, Abaco, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Chub Cay, Crooked Island, Elbow Cay, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua, Mayaguana, Grand Bahama, Grand Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, Long Cay, Long Island, Man-O-War Cay, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Spanish Wells.
Among these islands, a curfew has only been imposed on Grand Bahama from 8pm to 5am daily, with exceptions permitted by the commissioner of police.
Islands in the second schedule include New Providence (including Rose Island), Paradise Island and Abaco (excluding Green Turtle Cay, Grand Cay, Man-O-War Cay and Elbow Cay).
On these islands, a curfew will remain in effect between 8pm and 5am, with 24-hour weekend lockdowns.
While all public and private beaches and parks are closed for islands in the second schedule on Saturday and Sunday, a beach immediately connected to a hotel will be allowed to open to guests only.
Law enforcement officers will be empowered to monitor beaches and parks to ensure the order is followed.