Hubert Minnis
**FILE** Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Alexander Minnis addresses the 73rd session of the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 28, 2018. (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis gave updates on the phased reopening of the country on Sunday afternoon, saying, “We are able to reopen our economy in a safer manner than many other jurisdictions.”

In a televised address, Minnis thanked the Bahamian people for their cooperation during the curfews and lockdown and said their sacrifice has not been in vain.

The prime minister announced that effective Monday, June 29, beaches and parks would reopen on New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and Bimini.

On Wednesday, July 1, the Bahamas entered into phase two of the tourism plan, including the reopening of international borders for commercial flights.” Also, on that date, hotels and vacation rentals would also reopen.

Additionally, Minnis announced that:

• On July 13, attractions, excursions and tours may reopen. On July 27 vendors — including straw vendors — may reopen and jet ski operators can operate. Masks must be worn by all.

• Groups of more than five people are strictly prohibited on beaches. Enforcement teams will monitor this risk closely. Mass gatherings may result in the immediate closure of a beach. Based on the response to these measures, the government will decide whether beaches will stay open for the upcoming Independence Day weekend.

• Anyone currently entering the country is required to have a negative molecular diagnostic COVID-19 test result within 10 days of their travel date. From July 7, the window of time between that test and the day of travel will be shortened to seven days. Anyone coming from a country where they cannot obtain a test will be permitted entry but subject to a 14-day quarantine.

• Bahamians and residents returning from a trip abroad of 72 hours or less are exempted from the need for a test to reenter the country but will have to quarantine for two weeks on their return home. Everyone entering the country may be subject to thermal checks. All will be monitored by the Ministry of Health.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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