In Summary – Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (No. 2) Order 2020

March 27, 2020
In Summary – Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (No. 2) Order 2020

Nassau, The Bahamas – On the 23rd March, 2020 the Office of the Prime Minister (the “Competent Authority”) made the Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (No. 2) Order, 2020 (“No. 2 Order). The No. 2 Order which came into force at 9:00 am on the 24th March, 2020 expires at 9:00 am on the 31st March 2020 (the “Order period”). However, the Government has indicated its intention to move Parliament to extend the state of emergency until April 30th.

Closure of Businesses – All businesses which require workers to leave their homes shall close except to the extent such businesses are exempted or deemed essential. Businesses (where capable) and non-essential public service workers are encouraged to work remotely from home.

Businesses exempted from mandatory closure include:

1 Wholesale or retail grocery stores and farmer’s markets between 6:00 am and 7:00 pm. Note, that the order specifies the first two shopping hours are reserved for seniors, disabled persons and essential workers.
2 Doctor’s offices, hospitals, or medical facilities.
3 Pharmacies between 6:00 am and 5:00 pm and medical supply establishments.
4 Gas stations between 6:00 am and 5:00 pm.
5 Hotels excluding casinos, spas, gyms, discotheques, and dine-in restaurants. Note takeaway or room service is allowed; (Please note that both Atlantis and Baha Mar are temporarily closed).
6 Clearing Banks and Post Office Savings between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm and Credit Unions.
7 Private International Banks, Trust Companies and their affiliates (for urgent international transactions carried out by senior management only.
8 Commercial ports and related businesses between 6:00 am and 5:00 pm.
9 Airports; with prior written permission from the Competent Authority.
10  Commercial courier flights.
11 Drive-thru or takeaway food vendors between 6:00 am and 7:30 pm.
12 Pet food stores.
13 Cloud Carib Limited.
14 Licensed security guard businesses.
15 Commercial bakeries.
16 Water production and depots between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
17 Freeport Harbour Company.
18 The Bridge Authority.
19 Two-way radio communication system providers, electronic communication or technology service providers and IT support businesses between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm for remote and on-call operations only.
20 ATM machine maintenance and repair businesses.
21 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.
22 Lawyers in discharge of instructions concerning criminal matters; where audio-visual means cannot be used.
23 Property management and/or maintenance businesses provided they are not open to the general public.
24 Rental Car businesses between 8:00 am to 1:00 pm; only to return vehicles or to extend contracts.
25 Grocery and non-alcoholic beverage mobile delivery services may operate between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
26 Business to Business Suppliers of cleaning chemicals between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm; provided they are closed to the public.
27 Commercial janitorial and cleaning services supplied between 9:00 and 5:00 pm.
28 Pool maintenance and supplies businesses between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
29 Funeral homes and cemeteries.
30 Construction companies carrying on hurricane Dorian relief works in the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco (including their surrounding cays).
31 The following Industrial Manufacturers, 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.
32 Farms, including hydroponic farms and animal husbandry not open to the public between 6:00 am and 1:00 pm.
33 AUTEC Naval Base, OPBAT, Customs and Border Protection.
34 Consular Officers, Diplomatic Security Agents, Embassy and Security personnel between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm or in the case of an emergency with permission of the Commissioner of Police.
35 Jacks Bay Development Ltd. in house security services only.
36 Commonwealth Brewery security and emergency response services only.
37 Human societies (Nassau and Grand Bahama), and on-call veterinarians as needed; for emergencies.
38 National Park wardens on call when needed.
39 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.

 

Exempted businesses which remain open must adhere to social distancing protocols namely – (a) physical distancing at a minimum of six (6) feet in or outside of the business establishment, (b) imposing restrictions on the amount of persons permitted to enter the establishment at any one time by using  a ratio of one person per every 30 feet of store space, (c) placing distance markers indicating where persons are to stand on checkout lines, and (d) placement of distance markers indicating where persons are to stand while waiting to enter the establishment.

Curfew/Shelter in Place Restrictions – a 24-hour curfew is imposed on every person living in The Bahamas. Persons must stay in their homes unless they are:

  1. Essential workers reporting to work.
  2. Workers of Exempted Businesses required to work.
  3. Essential travel of the general public to doctors’ offices, grocery stores, banks, pharmacies or gas stations.
  4. Engaging in outdoor exercise for 1.5 hours between the hours of 5am and 9pm provided social distance of 6 feet is maintained from persons outside the household.

“Essential workers” are essential officers of:

  1. The Royal Bahamas Police Force
  2. The Royal Bahamas Defense Force
  3. Fire Services
  4. The Department of Correctional Services
  5. The National Insurance Board
  6. The Department of Social Services
  7. The Department of Environmental Health Services
  8. The Department of Immigration
  9. The Customs Department
  10. Waste Disposal and Sanitation Companies
  11. Any hospital, health care or medical facility
  12. Essential officers of any water, electricity or other electronic communications sector, including print and media
  13. Civil Aviation Authority.

Restrictions on Religious and Educational Institutions – All schools and religious places of worship must remain closed during the Order period, except for individual attendance at a church for individual prayer while maintaining social distance of minimum 6 feet.

Restrictions on Social Activities – All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household is prohibited.  This includes weddings which host more than 10 guests, and funerals with more than 10 members of the deceased’s immediate family.

International Travel Restrictions – No visitor is permitted to enter, transit through or disembark in The Bahamas through any airports (including private airports and fixed base operations) or any ports of entry used for international sea travel or private boating. Airports are required to remain closed except for the following:

  1. Outgoing flights and ships
  2. Cargo flights or cargo ships
  3. Commercial courier flights
  4. Emergency medical flights
  5. Emergency flights approved by Civil Aviation Authority
  6. Aircraft without incoming visitors for the sole purpose of evacuating persons from The Bahamas, provided the pilot remains with the aircraft at all times.

Closures of Public Gathering Places – Public beaches, Potters Cay and other docks, and markets including the fish fry at Arawak Cay are to remain closed.

Domestic Travel Restrictions – No person shall offer or seek to travel on any mailboat sailing inter island, except for transport of freight or any inter island private commercial sea transport other than a ferry service used within a chain of islands in the family islands.

The use of commercial or general aviation aircraft operated by an Air Operator Certificate holder, general aviation aircraft owner or pilot is prohibited except in medical emergency cases or carriage of freight.

Road Traffic /Public Transport Restrictions – All offer for hire (taxis), public transportation and road traffic is restricted excepting essential workers and workers for exempted businesses traveling to work and essential travel of the general public to grocery stores, banks, doctors’ offices and pharmacies.

Note, the Royal Bahamas Police Force may stop any vehicle on the road to enforce traffic restrictions.

Visitation of Sick Persons Restricted– Visitation of any quarantine, isolation station, patient hospital room, residential care establishment or facility, or correctional facility is strictly prohibited.

Non-compliance with any of the provisions of the No. 2 Order may result in fines not exceeding the sum of $10,000.00 or a term of imprisonment not in excess of 18 months, or both.

For more information, contact:

Renee Farquharson, Associate – ref@gtclaw.com

Gabriel Brown, Pupil – gkb@gtclaw.com