Five charged for breaking nationwide curfew

Nassau, BAHAMAS-Five men have admitted to violating a nationwide curfew aimed at promoting social distancing to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The violators appeared in various courts in the country on March 23.

The curfew that began on March 20 and ends on March 31 requires all residents, except those that work in essential services, to be at home from 9pm to 5am.

Curfew violators face a maximum of 18 months in prison and/ or a $10,000 fine.

None of the violators received the maximum penalties when they appeared in court

In fact, Daavan Curry, 25, of Pine Yard was not punished at all.

That’s because Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes gave Curry an absolute discharge after he explained that he was taking his diabetic mother medicine.

Police arrested Curry at 9:45pm on Yamacraw Road.

Also appearing before Forbes was Dennis Lynes. The 34-year-old of Gamble Heights took police on a highspeed chase after he was found on the street around 9:35pm on Friday.

Lynes was in his car at Montell Heights. He was arrested at Market Street following the pursuit.

Forbes fined him $250 or two months in prison.

Over on Grand Bahama, police charged three men with violating the curfew.

Carl Johnson, 31, was sentenced to one year in prison. Adam Outten, 22, was fined $500 and James Toussaint, 34, was fined $1,000 or three months in prison.

Curfew extended to 24 hours, beaches closed

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis ordered the closures of beaches and parks effective March 24 until March 31. The move came after scores of residents ignored advice to maintain social distancing by crowding public spaces.

The curfew has been extended to 24 hours and residents are prohibited from leaving their homes with limited exceptions.

The reasons residents can leave home are to shop for basic necessities, daily exercise for a maximum of 90 minutes, medical services and essential work.
The prime minister said supermarkets will be encouraged to designate a specific shopping time for seniors, from 9am to 11am daily.

Stores that remain open must ensure that social distancing is enforced by limiting the number of people inside.

Owners must place distance markers six feet apart, indicating where each customer must stand on a line at a check out point. The markers are to also be placed outside the stores where customers must stand while they wait to enter.

Additionally, docks are closed to commercial activity. This includes the selling of fish and conch.

What’s more, all airports are closed to incoming international passenger flights. All seaports are closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating. No visitor is permitted to enter and disembark for any reason, including transiting through The Bahamas. Public service workers must work from home unless they have been designated essential workers.

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