MEMBERS of Parliament yesterday passed a bill aimed at ending certain suspensions implemented under the former Minnis administration through the Emergency Powers Ordinances.
National Security Minister Wayne Munroe told members of the House of Assembly that if the former government had listened to lawmakers and senior lawyers, the emergency orders would not be in effect for a long time. extended period, the transitional bill would not be necessary.
The Member for Free Town also addressed concerns about vehicle registration. He said motorists have up to 30 days after the emergency powers orders end to register their cars.
Current emergency orders end on Saturday. The country has been in a state of emergency since March 2020.
“It can be remembered that the emergency ordinances at the beginning suspended the registration of vehicles until the end of the state of emergency,” Munroe said. âThere is a view that this suspension ended in May 2020 with the end of the first period.
âThere is a debate on this. Being a lawyer like I am, we would know that everything is questionable. I can say as Minister of National Security that the police took this year the position that they only apply insurance in representation so that the suspension was still in effect.
“But I don’t expect that to change and people would have 30 days after the end of the state of emergency to register their vehicles.”
Yesterday, the House of Assembly passed a bill providing for the transition and the consequences of the suspension of certain provisions under the Order of 2021 on the special provisions for the management and recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic. .
Regarding these texts, Mr. Munroe said: âThe advice to the government is that these suspensions die with the state of emergency. This creates problems and problems and this bill addresses them.
âThe first question to be addressed is the question of local elections. This should have happened in June 2020. The order suspended them and, according to clause four of the proposed bill, it is believed they will be extended by 90 days to allow the orderly conduct of local government elections. The same is true for school board elections and the same 90-day extension is provided for in article five.
âThe emergency regulations also suspended the need to renew work permits, annual residence permits and other permits under immigration law.
âOn November 13, when the state of emergency ends, this suspension will also end and people who acted in faith with this provision of the regulation could find themselves in difficulty. The regulation provided for a 30-day deadline after the end of the state of emergency to renew and unfortunately the ordinance will cease to have effect on November 14 and all the implications of the law will apply. In order to address and protect people who have acted in good faith, article six of the bill provides for a period of 90 days for these people to make the necessary requests to regularize their situation in this country.
He continued: âFinally, the emergency regulations suspended the provisions of the data protection law in order to allow the National Insurance Office to share the personal data of insureds with money transfer services. This ordinance provided for the suspension of the provision of the Data Protection Act as indicated at the expiration of the deadline on November 14.
âThe board and the money transfer services would have difficulty because they would break the data protection law. The remedy we have found is section 7 and provides a 90-day period for the advice and money transfer services to find a solution.
“In the meantime and at all times, the money transmission service will have to keep the information confidential.”
Last week, the government tabled the 2021 health services rules in the House of Assembly to replace the current COVID-19 emergency orders – regulations that, when enacted, will terminate the competent authority and empower the Department of Health and Wellness to manage the ongoing pandemic.
According to regulations, Bahamians and visitors will still be required to wear a mask, disinfect and socially distance themselves after the November 13 deadline.
A business may also operate as long as it âprepares a protocol document containing guidelines relevant to the business as questions or approved by the ministry; completes the ministry’s online workplace assessment survey and ensures that each employee is aware of the contents of the approved protocol document.
However, businesses can be closed by order of the Minister of Health, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, for non-compliance or due to a COVID epidemic, among others.
Dining inside restaurants will also be allowed at a 50 percent seating capacity, but all patrons must be fully vaccinated and have a “valid” negative antigen test result.
Regarding religious activities, religious services, weddings and funerals can be arranged indoors in accordance with protocols provided by the Bahamian Christian Council and approved by the Department of Health.