THE STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY IN THE BAHAMAS

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Here is the text of the Proclamation and the Regulations Thereunder

PROCLAMATION OF EMERGENCY 

WHEREAS Article 29(1) of the Constitution recognizes that the Governor- General may make a proclamation that a state of public emergency exists; 

AND WHEREAS Article 29(4) of the Constitution provides that a proclamation of emergency shall, unless it is sooner revoked by the Governor- General, cease to be in force at the expiration of a period of fourteen days beginning on the date on which it was made or such longer period as may be provided under paragraph (5) of this Article, but without prejudice to the making of another proclamation of emergency at or before the end of that period; 

AND WHEREAS Article 29(5) of the Constitution provides that if at any time while a proclamation of emergency is in force (including any time while it is in force by virtue of the provisions of this paragraph) a resolution is passed by each House of Parliament approving its continuance in force for a further period, not exceeding six months, beginning on the date on which it would otherwise expire, the proclamation shall, if not sooner revoked, continue in force for that further period; AND WHEREAS I am satisfied that due to the confirmation of the presence of Covid 19 in The Bahamas, a state of public emergency exists in The Bahamas as a result of the aforementioned circumstances; 

NOW THEREFOR, I, The Most Honourable Cornelius Alvin Smith, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by Article 29 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas HEREBY DECLARE that: 

(a) with effect from the 17th day of March, 2020, a state of public 

emergency exists in The Bahamas; 

(b) this proclamation of emergency shall cease to be in force at the expiration of a period of fourteen days from the date hereof, or such longer period as may be provided for by a resolution passed by each House of Parliament approving its continuance in force for a further period, not exceeding six months, beginning on the date on which it would otherwise expire, the proclamation shall if not sooner revoked, continue in force for that further period. 

Dated the 17th day of March, 2020 

Governor-General 

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

EMERGENCY POWERS (COVID 19)(NO. 1) ORDER, 2020 

In exercise of the powers conferred on me by regulation 14 of the Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020, I HEREBY make the following Order — 

1. Citation and duration. 

(1) This Order may be cited as the Emergency Powers (Covid 19)(No. 1) 

Order, 2020. (2) This Order shall come into force at 9:00 a.m. on the 20th day of March, 

2020 and shall expire at 9:00 a.m. on the 31st day of March, 2020. 

2. Curfew. 

A curfew is hereby imposed extending each night from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. with such exception as may approved by the Commissioner of Police. 

3. Imposition of orders. 

For every island and cay of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, for a period of eleven days commencing the 20th day of March, 2020 — 

(1) All establishments, institutions, businesses, offices, stores and organizations shall suspend operations to the general public except for the following — (i) wholesale or retail grocery stores and Farmers’ Markets from 

6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; (ii) doctor’s offices, hospitals or medical facilities; (iii) pharmacies from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm.; (iv) gas stations from 6:00 am. to 5:00 p.m.; (v) medical supply establishments; (vi) hotels; (vii) banks from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; (viii) commercial ports and related businesses from 6:00 a.m. to 

5:00 p.m.; (ix) airports; 

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EMERGENCY POWERS (COVID 19)(NO. 1) ORDER, 2020 

(x) laundromats and wash houses for hygienic purposes from 

6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; (xi) drive thru or take away food vendors from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 

p.m.; (xii) construction companies carrying out any construction work 

from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (xiii) such other businesses or undertakings as may be specifically 

exempted in writing by the Competent Authority, Provided that the owner or operator of the establishment specified in (i) – (xiii) restrict the number of customers inside their place of business at any one time so that each customer is enabled to distance himself at least three to six feet (3 – 6 ft.) from any other person. 

Every person in such establishment or business must distance themselves from other persons at a minimum of three to six (3 – 6 ft.) feet from any other such person. (2) No person shall host or attend — 

(i) a private party which includes any person from outside of the 

immediate household of the house occupant; (ii) a recreational or competitive sporting event; (iii) a wedding which hosts ten or more persons other than the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer; (iv) a banquet, ball or reception; (v) any social event; (vi) a funeral, except ten members of the immediate family and 

at least one officiant and essential mortuary staff; or (vii) a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or 

civic association or organization. (3) No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any — 

(i) public bus transportation; (ii) mail boat, sailing inter island, except for transport of freight; 

or (iii) inter island private commercial sea transport that is non- 

essential; Provided that the Competent Authority may vary any of the requirements above by Order. 

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EMERGENCY POWERS (COVID 19)(NO. 1) ORDER, 2020 

(4) No person shall visit any place of quarantine or isolation 

station. (5) No person shall be permitted to visit any detainee in a correctional facility nor more than one person at any time shall visit a patient in a hospital or residential care establishment or facility. (6) Subject to the provisions of this Order, every person shall remain in 

the confines of their dwelling home, inclusive of their yard space. 

I HEREBY further order that — 

(7) Nothing in this Order shall — 

(a) affect the function by essential officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, The Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Fire Services, the Department of Correctional Services, the National Insurance Board, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Environmental Health Services, the Department of Immigration, the Customs Department, waste and sanitation workers, and staff within any hospital or health care or medical facility; (b) affect the function by essential officers of any water, electricity or other sector encompassing the provision of electronic communications including print and electronic media; (c) prohibit religious or educational instruction, worship or other 

activity by electronic or virtual means; (d) prohibit individual attendance at a church for private 

individual prayer while maintaining social distancing. (8) Subject to paragraph 3(1) herein, all other establishments, institutions, businesses or offices inclusive of the Public Service (as may be authorised by the respective Permanent Secretary) shall work from home and such establishments, institutions, businesses or offices shall maintain only essential staff for the performance of core functions while adhering at all times to social distancing as prescribed above. (9) Any person, company or organization who contravenes any order given herein is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding eighteen months or to both. 

Made this day of , 2020 

PRIME MINISTER 

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EMERGENCY POWERS ACT (CHAPTER 34) 

EMERGENCY POWERS (COVID 19) REGULATIONS, 2020 

In exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Emergency Powers Act (Ch. 34), the Governor-General makes the following regulations — 

1. Citation and duration. 

(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Emergency Powers (Covid 19) 

Regulations, 2020. (2) These Regulations shall be deemed to have come into force on the 17th 

day of March, 2020. (3) These Regulations shall cease to have effect when the proclamation of emergency in pursuant of which they have been made ceases to have effect. 

2. Interpretation. 

“Competent Authority” means the Prime Minister; “Covid 19” means the novel Coronavirus (2019-n CoV); “correctional officer” has the same meaning as in the Correctional 

Services Act, 2014; “infected place” has the same meaning as in the Quarantine Act; “isolation” in relation to a person means the separation of that person from any other person in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with Covid 19 — (a) at an isolation station as defined under the Health Services 

Act (Ch. 231); (b) in that person’s home; (c) in a hospital; or (d) at another suitable place; “health officer” has the same meaning as in the Health Services Act; “statutory purpose” means the preservation of the public health, peace, maintenance of public order and the securing and regulating of the supply and distribution of food, water, fuel, light and power and other necessities. 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

3. Detention of persons. 

(1) Where — 

(a) a health officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is, or 

may be, infected or contaminated with the Covid 19; and (b) the health officer considers that there is a risk that the person might 

infect or contaminate others; or (c) a person has arrived in The Bahamas on an aircraft or ship from 

outside The Bahamas; and (d) the person has left, or the health officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has left, an infected place within the twenty day period immediately preceding the date of the person’s arrival in The Bahamas, the health officer may, for the purposes of screening, assessment and the imposition of any restrictions or requirements under regulation 4, impose on that person a requirement to be detained until the later of— 

(i) the end of the period of forty-eight hours beginning with the time from which the person’s detention under this regulation begins; (ii) such time as any screening requirements imposed on or in relation to the person under regulation 4(1) have been complied with and the assessment referred to in that regulation carried out in relation to the person. (2) Where a special restriction or requirement is imposed under this regulation, the person imposing the restriction or requirement must express it to be contingent on the incidence or transmission of Covid 19 constituting a serious and imminent threat to public health. 

4. Imposition of restrictions and requirements. 

(1) Where a person has been detained pursuant to regulation 3, the health 

officer may— (a) orally or in writing, impose on or in relation to any person one or more screening requirements to inform an assessment, of whether such person presents or could present a risk of infecting or contaminating others; (b) carry out such an assessment in relation to that person; (c) following such an assessment, orally or in writing, impose on or in relation to that person any other restriction or requirement which the health officer considers necessary for the purposes of removing or reducing the risk referred to in subparagraph (a), including a special restriction or requirement. 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

(2) A decision to impose a restriction or requirement under paragraph (1) may only be taken if the health officer considers, when taking the decision, that the restriction or requirement is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by imposing it. (3) A restriction or requirement imposed under paragraph (1) by a health 

officer may be varied, orally or in writing, by the health officer. (4) Where a restriction or requirement under paragraph (1)(c) is imposed on or in relation to a child, a person who is a responsible adult in relation to the child must ensure that the child complies with the restriction or requirement, insofar as that person is reasonably able to do so. (5) Where a restriction or requirement is imposed orally on a person under this regulation, or a restriction or requirement imposed under this regulation is orally varied, the person (or, in the case of a child, a person who is a responsible adult in relation to the child) must be provided with a written notification of the restriction or requirement that has been imposed or varied as soon as reasonably practicable. (6) Where a special restriction or requirement is imposed under paragraph (1) (c), the person imposing the restriction or requirement must express it to be contingent on the incidence or transmission of Covid 19 constituting a serious and imminent threat to public health. (7) Paragraph (1) does not affect the exercise of any powers by virtue of 

regulation 5. 

5. Isolation of persons suspected to be infected with Covid 19. 

(1) A health officer may require a person be kept in isolation, if the health 

officer — (a) has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is, or may be, 

infected or contaminated with Covid 19; and (b) considers that it is necessary and proportionate to do so in order to reduce or remove the risk of the person infecting or contaminating others. (2) Where a health officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is, or may be, infected or contaminated with Covid 19, the health officer may detain the person pending the decision of the health officer under paragraph (1). (3) Where paragraph (1) applies, the health officer may impose on or in 

relation to a person one or more screening requirements. (4) Where a special restriction or requirement is imposed under this regulation, the person imposing the restriction or requirement must 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

express it to be contingent on the incidence or transmission of Covid 19 constituting a serious and imminent threat to public health. 

6. Screening requirements 

(1) For the purposes of these Regulations, the screening requirements in 

relation to a person means the person must — (a) answer questions about the person’s health or other relevant circumstances, including travel history and information about other individuals with whom the person may have had contact; (b) produce any documents which may assist a health officer in 

assessing the person’s health; (c) allow a public health officer, or such person designated by the public health officer to take a biological sample of the person, including a sample of the person’s respiratory secretions or blood, by appropriate means including by swabbing the person’s nasopharyngeal cavity, or provide such a sample; and (d) provide sufficient information to enable the person to be contacted immediately by a health officer during such period as the health officer may specify. (2) Where a person is a child and accompanied by a responsible adult, the 

responsible adult must — (a) ensure that the child answers questions in accordance with 

paragraph (1)(a); (b) answer the questions if the child is unable to do so or cannot 

reliably do so; (c) produce any documents, required under paragraph (1)(b), on such 

child’s behalf; (d) allow the health officer to take a biological sample of the child, including a sample of such child’s respiratory secretions or blood, by appropriate means including by swabbing such child’s nasopharyngeal cavity, or provide such a sample; and (e) provide information under paragraph (1)(d) to the health officer as 

required. 

7. Power to requisition any building, ship or aircraft, etc.. 

(1) Where the competent authority is satisfied that it is reasonably required for any statutory purpose so to do for the duration of the emergency or any period therein, the competent authority may give notice, in writing, to the person having control of any building, ship in The Bahamas, or of any aircraft or article of any description in The Bahamas, of having requisitioned a building, ship, aircraft or article. 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

(2) Where the competent authority requisitions any building, ship, aircraft or article under paragraph (1) the competent authority may, by itself, its servants or agents, take possession of the building, ship, aircraft or article and do to or in relation to such building, ship, aircraft or article, anything which might lawfully have been done by the owner of such building, ship, aircraft or article as if such building, ship, aircraft or article had not been requisitioned under these Regulations, and may use such building, ship, aircraft or article for any purpose for which such building, ship, aircraft or article might lawfully have been used if it had not been so requisitioned. (3) At the conclusion of the requisition, the competent authority shall make prompt and adequate compensation in the circumstances to the owner or occupier of such building, ship, aircraft or article. 

8. Power to requisition essential services. 

(l) Where the Governor-General is satisfied that it is reasonably required so to do for the duration of the emergency or any period therein, he may give notice in writing for the requisition of any essential service to the person having the management or control of any essential service requisitioning such service with effect from such date as may be specified in such notice. (2) Where any essential service is requisitioned under paragraph (1), the Governor-General shall by instrument in writing appoint some person as controller of the service requisitioned. (3) Upon the appointment of some person as controller of any essential service, such person shall be entitled to take possession of all premises and assets of every description (other than money or securities for money) which, immediately before the giving of the notice by which such service was requisitioned, were used or intended to be used for the purposes of such service and, in relation to any premises and assets so taken possession of, and in relation to the service so requisitioned, to do or cause to be done any act or thing which might lawfully have been done by the person having control of such service if the service had not been so requisitioned. (4) For the purposes of these Regulations, “essential services” means any service established, maintained or operated by the Government, or by any public or private enterprise, or otherwise, for — (a) the collection, storage, purification or distribution of water for use 

by the public or any class of the public; (b) the collection, storage, treatment and disposal of sewage or garbage 

or refuse; (c) the manufacture, storage or distribution of gas for use by the public 

or any class of the public; or 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

(d) the removal, handling or burial of deceased persons or disposal of 

dead animals. (5) The provisions of regulation 7(3) shall apply mutatis mutandis. 

9. Power to waive procurement rules. 

(1) In the interest in protecting the public safety and health, the competent authority, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, may by order, waive the application of any rules or law governing the procurement of goods and services. (2) The Minister of Finance shall within six weeks of the expiration of the Proclamation of Emergency lay a report before the House of Assembly detailing — (a) the total expenditure of the goods and services procured; (b) the suppliers of the goods and services procured; (c) the reasons for the use of the suppliers of the goods and the 

providers of the services. 

10. Power to waive fees. 

The competent authority may by order waive or vary the payment of any fees for the testing and medical services rendered at any public hospital or health care facility in relation to Covid 19. 

11. Reporting requirements. 

The Minister of Health, the Managing Director of the Public Hospital Authority and the person charged with responsibility for directing the day to day operations of any other entity or public body charged with responsibility for protocols with respect to Covid 19, shall report to the competent authority during the continuance of the public emergency. 

12. Revocation or suspension of permits for use of public open spaces. 

The competent authority may by order, cause to be revoked or suspended all permits for the use of public open spaces in any particular area, or an entire island or the country as a whole in the interest of public health safety. 

13. Prohibition of assembly. 

The competent authority may by order prohibit the assembly of two or more persons in a public place in any area specified, in the interest of public health safety. 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

14. Imposed social distancing or isolation. 

(1) The competent authority may by order, impose isolation on all individuals within a particular area, island or the entire country in the interest of public health safety. (2) Where isolation has been imposed, the competent authority may — 

(a) require the closure of all educational or religious institutions in the 

area so specified; (b) require the closure of any business or organization that caters to the general public in the areas so specified, unless permitted otherwise by the order; (c) prohibit the visitation by persons at all residential care 

establishments; (d) prohibit the visitation by persons at all correctional facilities; (e) require every person to confine himself at his place of residence, 

unless otherwise specified by the order; (f) permit the travel of persons to a grocery store, gas station, pharmacy, doctor, hospital or such other place as may be specified in the order. (3) An order made pursuant paragraph (1)(e), shall not prohibit a person from 

going outdoors within the enclosed yard space of that person’s residence. (4) The competent authority may by order issue guidelines on social 

distancing and isolation, which shall have the force of law. 

15. Curfew. 

The competent authority may, by order, require every person within any area specified in the order to remain within doors between such hours as may be specified in the order, and any person who within any area so specified is or remains outdoors between such hours without a permit in writing from the competent authority, or some person duly authorized by the competent authority, commits an offence. 

16. Restriction of access to any area. 

(1) The competent authority may, by order, prohibit a person from residing or entering any area specified in the order if such person is suspected of acting or of having acted, or of being about to act, in a manner prejudicial to — (a) the public safety; (b) the supply or distribution of any necessity of life; or (c) the preservation of the peace, 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

and the competent authority is satisfied that it is desirable that such person should be prohibited from residing in or entering any particular area, the competent authority may, by order, prohibit him from residing or entering any such area or areas as may be specified in the order. (2) Upon the making of an order under paragraph (1), the person to whom the order relates shall, if he resides in any area so specified, leave that area within such time as may be specified in the order, and shall not subsequently reside in or enter any area so specified during such time as may be specified in the order. 

17. Power to stop, detain and arrest. 

(1) Where an authorized person has reasonable cause to believe that a person is in violation of these Regulations, he may stop, detain, question and arrest such person if he considers it necessary so to do. (2) Any person who assaults, obstructs, hinders or resists or uses any threatening or abusive language or aids or incites any other person to assault, obstruct, hinder or resist any authorized person in the execution of his duty under this regulation, commits an offence. (3) For the purposes of these Regulations, an authorised person means — 

(a) any member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force or a peace 

officer; or (b) any person authorized by the competent authority to do the act in 

relation to which the expression is used. 

18. Obstruction. 

No person shall obstruct any health officer, public officer, any member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Defence Force, any peace officer, or any correctional officer, acting in the course of his duty as such, or any person exercising any powers or performing any duties conferred or imposed on him by or under any of these Regulations, or otherwise discharging any lawful functions in connection with the performance of any statutory purpose. 

19. Publication of false statements. 

No person shall publish or cause to be published, posted or re-posted, over any media platform inclusive of social media, any purported news or report, or purported statement of fact, knowing or have reasonable cause to suspect that the same —(a) is untrue or false; or 

(b) may incite public fear, panic or ethnic hatred. 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

20. Governor-General may authorise international or regional forces. 

The Governor-General may authorize such international or regional military or police forces as may be requested by the Government to serve as peace officers and assist in — (a) the storage, safe keeping or distribution of relief supplies; (b) the provision of any essential services; and (c) the maintenance of public order. 

21. Publication of order. 

(1) Any order made pursuant to these Regulations may be published — 

(a) by announcement on any television or wireless transmission by any media duly licensed to operate for transmission and reception in The Bahamas; (b) by notice affixed to the outside of magistrate courts, police stations located in the area of The Bahamas and to the outside of every Administrator’s office on the Family Islands to which the order applies; or (c) by notice on the official website of the Government, except that as soon as practicable thereafter the order shall be published in the Gazette. (2) The means of authentication for notices published pursuant to subsection 

(1) shall be — (a) in the case of media announcements under paragraph (1)(c)(i), the 

voice of the Prime Minister; (b) in the case of posted notices under subsection (1)(c)(ii), the actual 

or electronic signature of the Prime Minister. (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 31 and 32 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Act (Ch. 2), an order made under these Regulations shall have effect notwithstanding that the order has not been published in the gazette or laid before the House of Assembly. 

22. Repugnancy with other enactments. 

These Regulations shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment, and any provision of an enactment which may be inconsistent with these Regulations or any such order made in accordance with these Regulations shall, whether or not that provision has been amended, modified or suspended in its operation under section 3 of the Act, to the extent of such inconsistency have no effect so long as these Regulation or any such order remains in force. 

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Emergency Powers (Covid 19) Regulations, 2020 

23. General penalty. 

Any person who contravenes the provisions of any of these Regulations or any order made or notice given thereunder or incites or attempts to incite any other person to contravene any of these Regulations or any order made or notice given thereunder commits an offence and is liable upon summary conviction before a magistrate to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to a term of imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months or to both. 

Dated the day of , 2020 

GOVERNOR-GENERAL