The Government of The Bahamas in response to COVID 19, passed the Emergency Powers (Covid 19) (No. 2) Order, 2020 (the “Order”).
The Order came into force at 9:00 am on the 24 March, 2020 and is presently set to expire at 9:00 am on 8 April 2020 (the “Expiration Period”).
Pursuant to the Order all businesses have been ordered to suspend operations except where exempted or deemed essential services. Businesses and non-essential public service workers are urged to work remotely from home.
Businesses exempted from closure under the Order include the following:
- wholesale or retail grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets from 6:00 am and 7:00 pm., with the first two shopping hours being reserved for seniors, disabled persons and essential workers;
- doctor’s offices, hospitals, or medical facilities;
- pharmacies from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm;
- medical supply establishments from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm;.
- Gas stations between 6:00 am and 5:00 pm.
- Hotels excluding casinos, spas, gyms, discotheques, and restaurants, however takeaway or room service is permitted;
- Banks from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.;
- Commercial ports and related businesses from 6:00 am and 5:00 pm.;
- Airports; (except with prior written permission of the Competent Authority;
- Commercial courier flights;
- Drive-thru or takeaway food vendors from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm.;
- Pet food stores;
- Water production and depots from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm;
- The Bridge Authority;
- The Bahamas Red Cross;
- Cloud Carib Limited;
- Licensed security guard businesses;
- Commercial bakeries;
- Freeport Harbour Company;
- Freeport Container Port;
- The Bridge Authority;
- Two-way radio communication system providers, electronic communication or technology service providers and IT support businesses from 10:00 am and 3:00 pm (attend to client’s remotely or on call;
- ATM machine repair and maintenance businesses;
- Farms – including hydroponic farms and animal husbandry from 6:00 am and 1:00 pm (not open to the general public);
- Veterinarians (on call);
- Fishing, including subsistence fishing (daylight hours not later than 8p.m.) and Commercial Fishing until 1st April;
- Lawyers in discharging instructions regarding criminal matters, provided audio-visual means cannot be utilized;
- Property management and/or maintenance businesses (provided that the said businesses are not open to the general public;
- Rental car businesses from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm – ONLY to return cars vehicles or extend existing contracts;
- Groceries and non-alcoholic beverages mobile delivery services may operate from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.;
- Business to Business suppliers of cleaning chemicals from 9:00 am and 2:00 pm- provided they are closed to the public;
- Janitorial and related services supplied to business from 9:00 and 5:00 pm.;
- Pool maintenance and supplies businesses from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.;
- Funeral homes and cemeteries;
- The following Industrial Manufacturers are allowed to open, only to maintain industrial equipment:
- Polymers International Ltd;
- Grand Bahama Power Company;
- Bradford Grand Bahama Limited;
- PharmaChem Technologies G.B Ltd.
- Bahama Rock- Martin Marietta;
- Freeport Container Port Ltd.;
- Buckeye Bahamas Hub Ltd;
- Grand Bahama Shipyard Ltd. (including the take away food service Antoni’s located on the premises);
- Bahamas Industrial Technologies Ltd.;
- Bahamian Brewery;
- Freeport Aggregates Limited;
- Quality Services Limited;
- AUTEC Naval Base, OPBAT, Customs and Border Protection.
- Consular Officers, Diplomatic Security Agents, Embassy and Security Personnel can operate from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm or in the case of an emergency with permission of the Commissioner of Police;
- Jacks Bay Development Ltd. – only to provide in house security;
- Commonwealth Brewery – only to provide in house security;
- Humane societies (Nassau and Grand Bahama), and on-call veterinarians as needed; for emergencies;
- National Park wardens on call when needed;
- Subsistence Fishing during daylight hours and not later than 8:00 pm; Commercial Fishing until the 1st April, 2020 where product is taken directly to processing plant and not the general public;
- Non-Profit Organizations, Churches and Civic Organizations, providing food packages to persons in need between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm; and The Bahamas Red Cross Society;
- Construction companies carrying on hurricane Dorian relief works in the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco (including their surrounding cays).
Notwithstanding the above business remain open, every business establishment must follow social distancing rules, which includes the following:-
- Customers and staff must maintain physical distancing at a minimum of six (6) feet in or outside of the business;
- Restrict the number of persons allowed to enter the establishment at any one time – one person for every 30 square feet of store space;
- Placing distance markers six (6) feet apart, indicating where persons are to stand on a to stand on the checkout lines; and
- Place distance markers six feet apart, indicating where persons are to stand while waiting to enter the establishment.
Date: 30 March 2020
Author: Darron Pickstock (email@example.com)