NEWS REPORT: Chamber: Prolonged lockdown would be devastating

Following Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ announcement that he was reinstating weekend lockdowns because of a surge in COVID-19 cases, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation Chairperson Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson said the fine balance of protecting public health and safety while permitting economic activity must be maintained.

The country, now experiencing its second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, has had 342 confirmed cases of the contagious virus, the majority of which were recorded since the country’s borders were reopened to international commercial flights on July 1.

As a result, the prime minister announced on Friday new restrictive measures requiring all businesses to cease operations by 6 p.m. daily and also prohibiting all businesses from operating on weekends except grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

Rutherford-Ferguson said a prolonged lockdown would be devastating.

“As the private sector, we know firsthand the impact of the lockdown measures and what that means for the survival of our businesses and the staff that we employ. Many families depend on the survival of our businesses as a source of income and to provide much needed goods and services. Additionally, and to a great extent, the government depends on the private sector as a source of revenue through taxes,” she told Guardian Business.

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