0

Pm Announces Closure Of Beaches For Holiday Weekend

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced Monday that beaches and parks in New Providence, Paradise Island and Grand Bahama will be closed throughout the Independence Day holiday weekend, beginning 10pm on Thursday and ending 5am on Monday.

His action comes four days after Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, the coordinator of the government’s COVID-19 response, said there is no more community spread of COVID-19 in The Bahamas as she explained why officials are not conducting more COVID-19 tests.

Dr Minnis’ announcement sparked criticism across social media. Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip Davis said the decision appeared arbitrary and devoid of a scientific basis.

During a national address on June 27, Dr Minnis announced that beaches in the aforementioned islands and Bimini would be immediately closed if there are mass gatherings. He also said that depending on the results of beach monitoring in the ensuing week, officials would determine whether the beaches will remain open or closed during the July 10 holiday weekend.

Since then, there have been no videos or reports of residents disobeying social distancing rules on beaches and Dr Minnis did not indicate in the House of Assembly Monday that he has received reports of people failing to adhere to the policy.

He said: “We are quite aware of the surge of the COVID-19 virus that’s occurring in the United States, particularly Florida, Texas, Arizona, which I will speak to later, and we are also aware of what may have contributed to some of the surge. Taking these matters into consideration, so as to avoid such activities within The Bahamas and possibility of introduction and subsequently spread, the beaches and parks of New Providence, Paradise Island and the surrounding cays and Grand Bahama will close on the 9th of July at 10pm until the 13th of July 5am on Monday.”

In response, Mr Davis said: “There’s no reason given for his action. You’d expect that all these decisions would be based on some scientific, medical rationale but the beaches are open all week, then you will close it down during the holiday? I don’t get it. There’s nothing to indicate that Bahamians have not been cooperating. Families were clustered, three or four of them at a time, but there was physical distancing. When he said that (in the House of Assembly) I looked at him and said how does it make sense?”

Mr Davis continued: “It’s just also irrational and arbitrary because what is the purpose? Is it to prevent people from going out and enjoying themselves? Why shouldn’t they be allowed to go out once they are practicing the appropriate protocols that are in place?”

The Minnis administration began its controversial plan last week to reopen the country’s borders to international commercial travel even as COVID-19 cases in the United States skyrocket. Some critics blasted the move, saying it puts the country at risk. There has not been a new documented case of the COVID-19 in nearly three weeks and the pace of new COVID-19 tests has dropped significantly.

Asked during a press conference last week why widespread testing is not being done, Dr Dahl-Regis said there is no need for it.

“We do not at this time anticipate widespread testing. We have no community spread of COVID-19 as evidenced in the data I presented,” she said.

Mr Davis said Monday7: “The two of these things don’t align. If there’s no community spread and you don’t have to test, why still have the lockdown, why still have the curfew, and why close the beaches? These things I now believe are unrelated to the issue at hand, which is COVID-19. They need to answer what it is they are doing and why or is it just a case of dictatorial tendencies, I’m doing what I can do.”

Mr Davis questioned the basis of the assertion that there is no more community spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“I don’t know how they determine there is no community spread if this is an invisible enemy where people could be asymptomatic,” he said. “The only way to know if there is spread is if there is testing, so if they aren’t testing, how would they know there is no spread? They are acting only when someone presents with the COVID fever or symptoms so if you don’t have the symptoms you’re not tested but how can I be satisfied about the status of the virus in the country when you’re not testing?”

During last week’s press conference, Dr Dahl-Regis also said the prime minister would “shortly” announce changes to the 10pm to 5am curfew. However, yesterday was the fourth consecutive day where no changes were announced.

Comments

My2Cents 1 month ago

Davis is absolutely right on this. I applaud Minnis and team for the job they’ve done so far to control the spread of the virus, but at this point it seems efforts are based on personal preferences/opinions or simply following whatever the US is doing. There’s no rationale whatsoever for closing the beaches on the holiday weekend. This is not kindergarten. The Bahamian people are not children. I’ve resisted comments to the effect of dictatorial behavior up to this point, but this unfortunately gives credence to that claim. Disgraceful

0

themessenger 1 month ago

@My2Cents, In that you are incorrect! Bahamians are not all children but they are childishly disobedient when they want to be which is most of the time. The favorite saying of our people, " Bey! ain no law fa me!" Having driven by Goodman's Bay, Saunders Beach and Montagu since the beaches opened, dey out dere all crease up together without a care in the world, five people r less in a group what a joke and I wouldn't talk 'bout the garbage we leave behind. The unfortunate part of all this is that the innocent also suffer for the guilty.

0

bahamas12345 1 month ago

You should drive around out on West Bay Street near Poopdeck and Nesbitts then. Crowds of 50 + people not a mask in sight or social distancing

0

TalRussell 1 month ago

Guess what? Comrade Mr. Minnis folly: Confusing Beach Policy makes no tourism sense. And get this. Will Mr. Minnis's 200 newly recruited curfew constabularies be patrolling the beaches to arrest tourists sun tanners and swimmers?
Just couldn't make this stuff up. Just, couldn't. Nod Once for Yeah even the tourists are to learn not to trust Dioniso James's contradicting invite to come to the Colony to bask in our sea waters and beaches, Twice for No?

0

ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

this is ridiculous. for what? Florida beaches are closed because their numbers are out of control. On the one hand they say there's no community spread they open up the borders to all kinds of tourists but they lock us up like kindergarteners (@my5cents), again. How long will they keep this up? Till 2022?

And if they didnt notice, beaches aren't the only places people congregate. they'll just have giveth us free parties elsewhere

1

xtreme2x 1 month ago

THIS IS A DISGRACE. IS HE ABUSING THIS TEMPORARY POWER? HE IS OUR LEADER, WHY HE DID NOT KEEP COUNTRY CLOSED UNTIL AFTER THIS HOLIDAY. IT'S LIKE GIVING A CHILD A CANDY AND TAKING IT BACK. HOPE THIS APPLY TO BAHAMIANS AND WHAT EVER LITTLE TOURIST HERE.

1

bahamianson 1 month ago

i fully agree with the closure. If people go to the beach, they will be in groups of more than five without masks laughing, shouting and having a great time. No one will be able to control the masses, and we all know this. Why are we being so harsh? When visitors come, they already had a test. They are to wear masks , keep social distancing, and sanitize themselves. This is a great plan and makes sense. come on Bahamas, let's take care of each other. It is not the end of the world if you can't go to the beach, go to dinner or lunch, or go to the gym. It is the end of the world if your mother , uncle, grand father, nephew with asthma. Let's think about others! Stop being selfish. If this will stop my fellow Bahamian from contracting the virus, then take my liberties from me, I agree.

1

tribanon 1 month ago

You seem as confused and directionless as the self-annointed supreme ruler. Would love to know how you reconcile Minnis exposing us to Covid-19 by pre-maturely opening our borders to travellers from the US, Minnis halting the conduct of Covid-19 testing to determine extent/risk of community spread, and now Minnis quite arbitrarily ordering our public beaches be closed on a major holiday weekend. Will the few foreign tourists get to enjoy the private beach at their hotel/resort over the Independence Day weekend?

1

ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

its fine to be paranoid about covid. But if that's what you doing go whole hog with it. Close the borders.

China had a 2 month lockdown, opened, and had virus spikes. Seems to me if you decided to open, a lockdiwn every holiday is just dumb the economy must be thinking the same thing too. A better plan would be to allow a smooth flow and have sample testing both before and after the event to make sure no new spread is occurring. but just to lockdown in spurts and starts on your gut feeling with no evidence of anything seems like a waste of power, an abuse of power, a misuse of power.

0

Chucky 1 month ago

The only solution is to toss out the dictator.

1

mandela 1 month ago

If any tourists or foreigners are seen on OUR beaches during this time and not being arrested anyone with a phone should record and send viral because this will be evidence to show what this government thinks of its citizens and what they think of the others. Control, control, control, this is how dictators are born, we the citizens of the Bahamas are passive people, yes, but don't let the devil fool you Mr. Incompetent Authority, the Bahamas ain't China or Haiti, dictatorship will not work here so have your fun while you can, in any case, you will go down as the worst and meanest ever.

0

TimesUp 1 month ago

Probably because the PM knows that infected visitors will now be in country and he must take measures like this in an attempt to hold off community transmission as long as possible.

0

The_Oracle 1 month ago

Typical Rule by Fiat. Rather than let the police "police" the beaches and enforce the rules no matter how nonsensical some of them are, he in effect overrules himself. (his own rules) Classic Micromanagement coupled with indecision and or arbitrary behavior.

1

joeblow 1 month ago

One must ask, are beaches closed to tourists too or are Bahamians really second class citizens in their own country?

0

tribanon 1 month ago

I'm with you.....the Covid-19 spread in Florida and many other states of the US is now totally out of control.

0

bahamianson 1 month ago

I think we need to distance ourselves from calling someone a " Foreigner". I think the term is offensive and tries to demean the " GUESTS" to our country. It seems no different in calling someone other negative terms that we all dislike. So, don't give what you don't like. I am thankful for the "GUESTS" whom come to the country and contribute to our society.

3

lobsta 1 month ago

Absolutely agree... unfortunately 'foreigners' are always to blame for whatever is wrong in this country. Nevermind the fact that the ones who take advantage of this country and its population are by far and large Bahamians.

0

tribanon 1 month ago

@Bahamianson: You seem to worship a tourist dollar in your pocket more than a fellow Bahamian's life. And by the way, what do you want us to call those "foreign" investors that you and Minnis obviously love so much? Will "Guest" investors be your preference?

0

Dawes 1 month ago

This is a disgrace. If he is that worried about Covid then he should have kept the borders closed. This has nothing to do with Covid and all to do with his power trip. I apologize for voting FNM, won't happen again. On another note, is there anyone here that can get me into the one of the gated communities on the beach this weekend . as we know this law isn't for them. I hear Breezers has guests, is he really saying they can't go to the beach? If they say those are private beaches then i should be OK as long as i go to a private beach.

3

Ashinnabash 1 month ago

strange how only they can live free.

0

tribanon 1 month ago

You can be rest assured the privileged wealthy ones (many of them foreigners) will be enjoying their private beaches at Old Fort, Lyford Cay and Albany during the Independence Day weekend.

True to form the self-annointed supreme ruler enjoys bullying his lowly Bahamian plebes....slapping them about as a means of getting that mighty power 'high' feeling that he now craves so much.

0

truetruebahamian 1 month ago

The disgusting nasty bush league Bahamians who leave garbage, dirty diapers, and other assorted trash on the beaches and their environs must be made to do cleanup as community service.. Perhaps then they will learn responsibility and pride and even perhaps instill community awareness and clean habits to their young. Otherwise hanging is too good for them!

2

Tabby283 1 month ago

PM this is so ridiculous! You are worried about the wrong things.....what about the bars and clubs that have reopened and have made numbers of people gathering with no masks and no social distancing.....oh wait sorry they will remain open because these are the business men who line the pockets of the politicians.

I guess government gets no kickbacks from free beaches!!

1

shonkai 1 month ago

If you treat people like children, they will start to behave like children. And of course the other way around. Another fine mess!

1

themessenger 1 month ago

Conversely, if children are not disciplined and raised to have respect for those in authority, and for each other, we find ourselves in the fine mess we've been in for the last forty years and still headed for the bottom. Go figure!

1

geostorm 1 month ago

Spot on @themessenger!

0

Proguing 1 month ago

After the soup Nazi, here comes the beach Nazi. No beach for you!

More seriously, he should concentrate his efforts on promoting the respect of our beautiful environment by instituting heavy fines for any trash left on the beaches.

2

DDK 1 month ago

The PM ain't playing with a full deck. Those emergency powers of his need to rescinded.

0

birdiestrachan 1 month ago

This is a shame and a disgrace. Doc is using his power for wrong... will folks in Lyford cay be allowed to go on their beaches.??

The Bahamian people voted for them in large numbers, so they deserve what they get,

Dumb and dangerous is the order of the day.

1

bogart 1 month ago

Seems the majority public people are denied access to limited accessible beaches ....while.....a few who live in private mansions on beachfront inaccessable to public...enjoy 24/7 enjoying the most beach of private enclosed beachfront around the island.

0

TalRussell 1 month ago

Tear down those damn gates! Long before arrival the murderous COVID-19, comrade natives have been denied public access to eiighty-eight percent of our colony's declared private and declared be off-limits to the PopoulacesOrdinay, beaches. Nod Once for Yeah Tear down those damn blocking PopoulacesOrdinary access gates!, Twice for No?

0

proudloudandfnm 1 month ago

He said: “We are quite aware of the surge of the COVID-19 virus that’s occurring in the United States, particularly Florida, Texas, Arizona, which I will speak to later, and we are also aware of what may have contributed to some of the surge. Taking these matters into consideration, so as to avoid such activities within The Bahamas and possibility of introduction and subsequently spread, the beaches and parks of New Providence, Paradise Island and the surrounding cays and Grand Bahama will close on the 9th of July at 10pm until the 13th of July 5am on Monday.”

This is the dumbest thing I've seen in a long time.... Oblivious, and I thought this man was a doctor?????

0

Tam30 1 month ago

Nothing surprises me anymore with Minnis. It is clear that he can’t think for himself. He is following everything that the U.S. is doing with this pandemic. Zero leadership skills!

0

birdiestrachan 1 month ago

Doc said he sees what is going on with COVID 19. so what he does is open the borders to it all and he closes the beach.

Doc seems to be loosing his mind, Gone crazy.. He makes no sense. He can not reason.

0

DDK 1 month ago

Understand that there was a false social media report about the PM FINALLY visiting the second City on Thursday. More fake news. Apparently that Island would not welcome him! Can't imagine why not!

0

Giordano 1 month ago

It is very notorious the LACK OF LEADERSHIP AS WELL AS space in public beaches due to so many private residences PROTRUDING ELEGALLY INTO THE SAND & WATER OF PUBLIC BEACHES now with this flip floppy New measures regarding the use of beaches in N.P. The P.M. should lead by tearing down any wall or home/business that is too close to the beach's waters so to give more STANDARD SPACE AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC who gave him(P.M.,) the job to solve problems and not to create problems.g Mr. Prime Minister, use the huge financial resources of THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS available due to VAT, CUSTOM, and International aid as a result of Hurricane Dorian & COVID-19. Plus all those loans from IDB and so many OTHERS national and international financial institutions. Your election was won waiving the anti-corruption flag and elimination of lack of transparency also verification of complying with the "Public Disclosure Act" . How rich is your team in cabinet now? Why the public information act is not allowed to be exercised by anyone?d What is the mystery with the commission of enquire? Where is the opposition?

0

geostorm 1 month ago

All you all do is cry and complain like a bunch of babies. Serves you all right. Lock the beaches down Dr. MINNIS. They need to learn how to act. They are too undisciplined!

0

ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

It's so strange, someone I was in verbal contact with would repeat the same thing. "those" people don't know how to act, "they" can't listen, but when very same person needed their house cleaned they went for the maid, when they needed their hair done they went for the hairdresser, all this during the peak of the daytime curfew. People appear to very blase with handing down draconian rules that "other" people have to follow.

I wasn't for opening the borders in July because I had zero confidence that there was proper planning. July 1 was a date picked because thats when the hotels and cruise lines said they would start operating. That's it. No other rhyme or reason. No checks to ensure we were ready to handle anything.

My reason for opposing this weekend's beach access denial is the same, no rhyme or reason for it. Yes take drastic action f you have to, but have some justifiable reason for those actions. And announce them as part of a strategy, not constantly springing measures in the populace. This is like the abusive husband who has no control at work and comes home and takes out the anger on the wife and kids. That's what Minnis appears like to me. He does it because he can and it makes him feel powerful.

The scariest thing about this is, it's become abundantly clear that the medical team are walking on eggshells around the PM. They'll say anything not to offend and make up reasonings to justify his dictates that make no sense. Not castigating them, If they want to keep their jobs, bills aren't going anywhere and jobs are scarce, they should walk on eggshells given his undermining of Dr Sands, but what does that say for rationale of the health response?

How long will Dr Minnis hold onto Minister of Health anyway? Is there any benefit (i.e. additional pension related to holding a cabinet post?)

0

ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

"There has not been a new documented case of the COVID-19 in nearly three weeks.."

Have we had any sudden deaths in the country recently?

They are now saying that COVID can cause heart attacks in asymptomatic people.

We really need to stop this foolishness with Minnis making up rules depending on whether his left elbow hurting or he have a dull pain in his arthritic knee (though the old people really do know when it's going to rain!), the more I hear about this virus the less I think we know. We need to be testing a sample of our population on a regular basis. Prison, hospital, hotel guest services, airport workers and grocery store cashiers.

0

ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

It's so amazing when we point out that rules are bound stupid, we get the y'all like to complain obey or go to jail for 200 years treatment. But let Brent Symonette point out the same thing. Minnis een say boo. I cry shame on the other MPs there is no reason that we've been given for beaches to be closed over the weekend. Anyone who believes we gonna open the airport to the world and never have a case is dreaming. So I expect that they've planned their rapid response for the first 200 cases.

0

proudloudandfnm 1 month ago

Pretty obvious that Sands was in control when this first hit, now that he's out all we have is Minnis and his severe lack of brains and work ethic, time to get rid of the empty suit PM.....

0

licks2 1 month ago

After reading some of these posts. . .yea we need to shut down the beaches. . .if these are representative of the common mentality in the bahamas. . .these people een gat no understanding!! LET THESE SLOW BRAINS PEOPLE RUN ON. . .LOCK DOWN THE BEACHES! THEY WILL BE THE SAME ONES ON THIS SITE CALLING MINNIS AN "IDJOT" FOR NOT LOCKING DOWN IF COVID PICKS BACK UP!! GO FOR IT DOC. . .THESE AROUND HERE WILL BE "BITCHIN" ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE COME MONDAY. . .POSSIBLY WHY THE GOV. DID NOT KEEP THE BEACHES LOCK DOWN FURTHER. . .BECAUSE COVID IS NOT OVER!!

MOST OF THESE KNOCK FROM PILLAR TO POST ON MOST ISSUES ANYHOW! LOCK DOWN AND LET THEM GO ON THE BEACH. . .IF THEY THINK ANYTHING LIKE SOME REASON AROUND HERE. . .THEY JUST MIGHT ON THE BEACHES!! LOST AS YARD CHICKENS!!

0

Sign in to comment