Written by 5:42 pm Travel

EASED COVID RULES: Limits on social gatherings amongst restrictions relaxed

Travel, churches and restaurants all see updated rules 

MOH cautions restrictions could possibly be tightened again if pandemic worsens 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Health yesterday announced the easing of quite a few restrictions implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus amid the fourth wave, with the curve flattening in The Bahamas within the last two weeks.

The amendments to the Health Services Rules took immediate effect.

Social gatherings could also be held or attended indoors at a personal residence with not more than 40 people.

Social gatherings can also be held at a facility once all attendees are fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test, with strict adherence to health protocols.

Indoor gatherings were previously limited to twenty people.

The amended rules now allow gatherings outdoors with a maximum of 100 people, up from the 30 previously permitted.

All attendees should be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test.

A bunch who breaches the foundations related to gatherings might be liable upon conviction to a tremendous not exceeding $2,000, and to a tremendous as much as $300 for all and sundry in attendance.

Within the case of an attendee, a breach of the foundations carries a tremendous of as much as $300.

Anyone entering The Bahamas or traveling inter-island from Grand Bahama and New Windfall is required to acquire a COVID test inside 72 hours or travel, and a negative rapid antigen test on the fifth day after arrival.

An RT-PCR test is required for individuals who are unvaccinated.

That test result should be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Wellness via its travel health website.

Those out to sea must undergo a rapid antigen test at the primary port of call and submit results to the federal government on the second day of their stay.

In cases of a positive result, the person must take an RT-PCR test and isolate in accordance with the foundations.

Failure to accomplish that carries a tremendous not exceeding $1,000 or a term of imprisonment up to at least one month.

Churches or places of worship on New Windfall and Grand Bahama may conduct services, including weddings and funerals, provided that attendance is restricted to 50 percent occupancy and all applicable health protocols are maintained.

Funerals could also be conducted within the church with the casket or urn present.

A funeral service can also be held at a graveside with adherence to health protocols.

The seating capability of restaurants has been increased to 75 percent, provided patrons are fully vaccinated or provide a negative rapid antigen test.

Moreover, group exercise indoors is permitted with a maximum of 30 people.

Yesterday, the ministry said it stays encouraged by signs of progress.

It made clear that because the situation improves, the general public can expect more revisions, but the alternative could occur, with further tightening, if the situation worsens.

The ministry encouraged residents to get vaccinated and, where appropriate, to get boosters.

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