Grand Bahama: two-week lockdown after rise in COVID-19 cases


GRAND BAHAMA will be placed under a two-week lockdown following a rise of COVID-19 cases on the island.

Speaking at a press conference today, prime minister Hubert Minnis said the decision had been made after conversations with officials.

Minnis said: “I am announcing today that after consultation with health and other officials, including officials on Grand Bahama that Grand Bahama will be placed on a two week lockdown, in order to slow and control the community spread of the COVID-19 virus on that island.”

The lockdown will come into effect from 7pm on Thursday, 23 July until 5am Friday, 7 August.

Minnis said Grand Bahama had been classified as a “COVID-19 hotspot” by health officials.

As of Monday, 20 July, officials recorded a total of 59 cases of COVID-19 on the island, 51 of which were confirmed since the borders reopened on 1 July.

All domestic flights and sea vessels will be prohibited from travelling to and from Grand Bahama from this evening. All non-emergency or essential international flights and sea vessels travelling to and from the island will be prohibited from tomorrow.

Minnis reassured residents that the island had adequate supplies of food and discouraged people from overcrowding grocery shops.

In addition to the measures taken to control the spread of the coronavirus on Grand Bahama, The Bahamas is to close its borders to commercial flights and vessels carrying passengers from the US as a result of the country’s continued increase of COVID-19 cases.

The decision, which was announced yesterday, has also been prompted following a rise in cases in The Bahamas.

As of yesterday, there were 174 confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded in The Bahamas.

Almost 4 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the US.

A temporary ban on visitors from the US will come into effect on Wednesday, 22 July at midnight.

Flights leaving The Bahamas will be permitted to operate to transport any tourists or US citizens due to return to the US after Wednesday.

The decision comes after The Bahamas opened its borders to international travel on 1 July.

The travel restrictions do not apply to commercial flights carrying visitors from Canada, the UK or the European Union.

“Our current situation demands decisive action, if we are to avoid being overrun and defeated by this virus,” said Minnis.

He added: “We cannot allow our hospitals to be overrun. Many priorities must be balanced, be they health, social and economic. Chief amongst these though is health. We cannot risk the death of Bahamians and our residents.”