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News Report: Chamber stresses COVID-19 surge must be brought under control

Written by: Paige McCartney - The Nassau Guardian, August 11th, 2021

The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) acknowledged yesterday that while its members prefer to operate without restrictions, the current surge in COVID-19 cases must be brought under control.

Just one week into the month of August, there have been more than 800 new cases of COVID-19 reported, following record cases in July, which saw 2,185 new COVID-19 cases, making it the worst month so far in 2021.

In response to the rising cases, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis during a national address on Monday announced an extension of the current curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on New Providence.

“My members would love to operate their businesses without restrictions, however, we acknowledge this recent surge in new COVID-19 cases, which must be brought under control. We further acknowledge that current restrictions call for a balance of protecting health, safety and livelihoods while allowing commerce,” BCCEC Chairperson Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson said yesterday.

“Without a doubt, we look forward to the full resumption and operational capacity of businesses as they navigate the most recently announced temporary restrictions.”

The government also recently walked back its policy of allow fully vaccinated visitors to enter the country without a negative COVID-19 test, making it mandatory for all visitors and residents over the age of two to present a negative test as of August 6.

The government tabled a resolution to extend the state of emergency in the House of Assembly yesterday.

The most recent COVID-19 dashboard released by the Ministry of Health yesterday showed that there were 121 new cases as of August 9 and nearly 16,000 total reported cases since the first outbreak in The Bahamas in March 2020.

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