Statement by Leonardo Lightbourne, PLP Candidate for North Andros and The Berry Islands On Lockdowns in The Berry Islands and Andros

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Due to increased cases of COVID-19 on Andros and in the Berry Islands, the government of The Bahamas placed Bullocks Harbour and Great Harbour Cay on a two-week lockdown on Saturday May 22nd, 2021 and North and Central Andros on a two-week lockdown effective Monday May 24th, 2021 at 8 p.m.

These new measures add to the many hardships facing the people of North Andros and The Berry Islands. For the past 14 months, the community has had to live with the uncertainty of the global pandemic and the government has yet to outline a clear path to recovery. What is the plan for North Andros and The Berry Islands once the lockdowns have passed? Was there sufficient testing and contact tracing being done to prevent the lockdowns? How will businesses struggling to pay bills and pay staff be able to keep their doors open after a two-week lockdown?

While we understand the need to keep our community safe, the government must look at how their decisions will impact citizens especially on the Family Islands. Just last week, they announced that persons traveling to and from Andros would need a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test knowing that there are limited supplies of tests on the island and that there are no facilities to process the RT PCR tests on the island. The new requirements immediately placed the financial burden on residents and business owners already dealing with a challenging economy. Once the lockdown period is over, will this policy still remain in place?

Over the next two weeks, we will continue to monitor and check in with residents throughout the lockdown period. As always, I encourage all persons in North Andros and The Berry Islands to follow all protocols currently in place in order to remain safe and for the safety of others.