Days after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis first announced a nationwide curfew as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Raymond Moxey, 53, and Benjamin Antonio, 62, were arraigned for violating that curfew on Tuesday, March 24, in the Freeport Magistrate Court.
The pair was escorted into the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre to have their day in court. Moxey was arraigned in court #3 and Antonio was arraigned in court #1.
The pair was among a group of people arrested for violating the national curfew between Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 in separate incidents.
Assistant Superintendent of Police and Public Affairs and Communication Officer (PACO) Terecita Pinder reported that between Monday, March 23 and early Tuesday, March 24 four males were arrested for violation of curfew.
This comes after three males were arrested over the weekend and arraigned before the Magistrate Court in Grand Bahama, they all pleaded guilty and were fined, sentenced or both.
Penalties for violating this curfew are having to paying a fine, imprisonment or both. The fine would not exceed $10,000 or and time served would not exceed 18 months’ imprisonment.
The RBPF would like to take this opportunity to send a strong warning to members of the public, that we will arrest all persons found in breach of this curfew and will enforce all orders under the Emergency Power(Covid 19) (No.2) Order 2020.
Dr. Minnis announced a 24-hour curfew and border shutdown among additional measures that expand emergency powers regulations introduced last week to prevent the local spread of COVID-19 on Monday, March 23, 2020.
Minnis stated that a ‘shelter in place’ order that will affect the closure of roads to non-essential travel, and a total restriction on social activities tomorrow at 9am.
All airports, sea ports are closed to incoming regional or international traffic or visitors.
Public beaches and markets like the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay and Potters Cay Dock have been closed.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis initially announced on Friday, March 20, that an overnight curfew will be in effect from 21:00 until 05:00 (local time) from March 20 until Tuesday, March 31. The curfew may be extended depending on consultations with medical professions.
A state of emergency is also in effect, allowing the government to restrict movement and business operations. All non-essential businesses are being ordered to temporarily close, while markets, banks, pharmacies, gas stations, and other businesses will operate on reduced hours. All sporting events, large gatherings, banquets, and receptions are prohibited. Public bus transportation and non-essential boat travel is also suspended.
Entry restrictions remain in effect as of Friday. Foreign nationals who have traveled to the UK, Europe, China, South Korea, or Iran within 20 days of arrival will not be allowed to enter the country. Bahamian nationals will be allowed to enter but must be placed into quarantine or self-isolation.
The entry restrictions are expected to remain in place until at least April 13. Disruptions to flights to the country are also anticipated over the near term. The last outbound British Airways flight is scheduled to leave on Sunday, March 22.
As of March 20, four cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.