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06 Aug 2020 | 01:16 AM UTC

Bahamas: Authorities declare two-week nationwide lockdown from August 4 /update 11

Bahamas News Alert

Authorities declare nationwide two-week lockdown from August 4; heed official instructions

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/5/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/1/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Nassau). COUNTRY/REGION Bahamas

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Event

The Bahamas government declared on Tuesday, August 4, that a two-week nationwide lockdown would be in place until Wednesday, August 19, due to recent spike in confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). During this period, travel to access essential goods, including food, water, and medication, will be restricted to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 07:00 and 17:00 (local time). Essential workers will be permitted an additional day to access these goods on Saturdays between 07:00 and 13:00. All businesses have been asked to suspend normal operations during this period and implement working from home whilst commercial banks will be permitted to operate on reduced staffing on limited hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

A public state of emergency was extended through September 30 under the Emergency Orders due to COVID-19 measures. Inter-island travel was prohibited as of July 28. Only emergency travel to and from Grand Bahama is permitted as a local lockdown has been implemented by the Bahamian government until 05:00 on August 7.

As of July 25, international commercial passenger flights may enter the Bahamas, except for Grand Bahama, but all travelers, regardless of their country of origin, are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government facility upon arrival at their own expense. Furthermore, each traveler over the age of ten must have a COVID-19 RT PCR (molecular swab) test with a negative result, taken within ten days from the date of arrival.

Face masks are to be worn in any public space and must be worn for entry into supermarkets, pharmacies, and businesses.

A government-issued identification must be carried in person at police checkpoints, which have been established on several islands.

As of Wednesday, August 5, 715 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Bahamas, with 14 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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