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BERMUDA RED CROSS AND  POWER 95FM PRESENTS

Bermuda Summer Camps and After-school Guidance

The Camps and After-school guidance is for Camp Directors, staff and parents. It includes advice on how to make Camps safer, reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 and providing a safer environment for those on site, their families, and the wider Bermuda population. The guidance is informed by our own Ministry of Health and international organizations such as the Centre for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and Public Health England.

Source Bermuda Government Website

 

Guidance for Summer Camps and After School Programmes Designed 200604_1_0

June 29th Press Conference

Bermuda Government COVID-19 June 29th Update

Good afternoon Bermuda.

Today I am joined by the Minister of Health Kim Wilson who will give an update from her Ministry. The Minister of National Security, Min. Wayne Caines, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Cheryl Peek-Ball and Mr. David Kendell, Director of the Department of Health are all available to answer questions from the media.

Before I begin my substantial remarks, I would like to express condolences from the Government of Bermuda, to the family who lost their loved one on the water this weekend. It’s certainly tragic to lose a life so young, but it is a reminder to all of us that we must make sure that we are taking extra precautions when we are out on the water, as it can be dangerous.

As we head towards sending more of our people back to work and restoring economic opportunities and jobs in the tourism economy, we understand the concerns that many have expressed about the risk that opening our borders may pose.

Like you, we have seen the examples of countries who have not successfully managed the reopening of their economies like Bermuda has been able to do, and are also concerned about potential risks to our loved ones and our community. We have been able to address those concerns through one of the most stringent screening and monitoring processes that will be in place.

It is important to note that this entire process is a change from what normally happens when a visitor comes to Bermuda. Before, they just booked the flight, showed up at the airport with their passports, and boarded the plane.

We have all been affected, or know someone who’s been affected by showing up the airport, and they did not have their ESTA for the US, or their ETA for Canada. Tomorrow at 11am Bermuda will launch its own electronic Travel Authorization form for all travelers to Bermuda, and the Minister of Health will certainly expand on that when she speaks. But, it’s important to note that:

  • A traveler intending to come to Bermuda must complete a Traveler Authorization Form.
  • That form will be vetted and based upon the answers provided the Bermuda Government will indicate whether or not the traveler is cleared to come to Bermuda.
  • A traveler that does not have the clearance will not be boarded and will therefore not come to Bermuda.
  • All visitors coming to Bermuda will be required to be tested when they arrive on day 3, on day 7, and on day 14 of their stay. The number of tests required obviously depends on the length of stay.
  • We will ensure all Customs Officers, airport workers and officials will have on appropriate PPE and there will be physical distancing measures in place including physical barriers.
  • At any point in time any visitor tests positive, they will be fitted with a quarantine monitoring bracelet and will be required to isolate in their room. If they attempt to leave their room, the monitoring device will alert the authorities who will take the necessary steps to protect our community.

With these measures in place, we are confident we can detect early, detect quickly, and contain any positive COVID cases and prevent the spread of this disease in our community.

Let me be clear. There is risk involved. While thousands of Bermudians successfully returned to work, there are thousands more reliant on our tourism economy and want to work, but haven’t been able to do so. While the safety net created by the government through the unemployment benefit, has been extended, the ongoing costs to the public purse is large.

I however, cannot stress enough, this is not about putting profits or the economy over public health. It is about making sure that people in this country do not go hungry, and they have the opportunity to safely get back to work, to provide for their families. I am confident that Bermuda can serve as an example to the world on how to manage this virus, and how to be successful, while allowing persons into your country safely with the right protections in place.

A series of videos will be released this week, as well as a social media and radio campaign further explaining the strong protective measures in place, and how Bermuda’s testing regime and protective measures are some of the strongest in the world.

Now, we’ll hear from the Minister of Health, who will update about the latest test results and also give the expanded version of the traveler entry process and the electronic travel authorization.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH STATEMENT

Good Afternoon,

Between Sunday and today there were 378 test results received by the Ministry of Health; and none were positive for COVID-19.

Bermuda has 146 total confirmed positive cases. As of today we have only two actives case in Bermuda, of which one is currently hospitalized but not in critical care.

  • A total of 135 have recovered, and
  • the total deceased remains 9.

The news of only two active cases remaining is wonderful news for the country. We can all be very proud of this achievement, as we are on the cusp of being a COVID-free nation.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 60 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 101 years.

Overall, 57% of all cases are Black, 40% are white and 3% are other or unknown.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

  • 42 are Imported
  • 85 are Local transmission, with known contact
  • 15 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
  • 4 are under investigation

Bermuda’s country status is “Local Transmission – Sporadic Cases”. The seven-day average of our real time reproduction number is below 1.

At Thursday’s press conference, I detailed the process that incoming travellers – residents and visitors –will be required take when entering Bermuda as of July 1st, and in the subsequent days after their arrival. All of this information can be found at coronavirus.gov.bm along with a detailed FAQ document.

Today I want to talk specifically about the Travel Authorization application, which is similar to the process that one would have to go through to apply for an ESTA when entering the United States, for example.

I want to be clear that both visitors and residents entering Bermuda from abroad must apply for this Travel Authorization prior to travel, which will be available on the government website coronavirus.gov.bm (travel page) from tomorrow. There will be an online application form for returning residents and arriving visitors.

This Travel Authorization helps us ensure that our strict testing regime and health protocols are adhered to by travelers, in order to keep our island safe.

The application will require travelers to confirm that they have negative COVID test results, and to answer questions about their health like whether they have any COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms .

A one-time fee of $75 is required when applying for the Travel Authorization and includes all COVID-19 tests required within the stipulated 14 day period.

In order to enter Bermuda, visitors will be asked to confirm that they are travelling with health insurance that covers illness and injury outside of their home jurisdiction, including those related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis while in Bermuda. If they are not travelling with insurance, they must tick the box that states that they understand they will be responsible for the all health and accommodation costs should they require treatment and/or quarantine, whether related to COVID-19 or otherwise.

Once a traveller completes the online form, they will receive an email advising whether it has been approved. If approved, the Travel Authorization must be shown at the departure gate; either a printed version or directly from your mobile device. Travellers will not be permitted to board without proof of their Travel Authorization.

The Travel Authorization is only needed when coming into Bermuda. It is not required when leaving. Persons travelling outbound to other countries should research what is required of them by the jurisdiction they are going to; the Government of Bermuda has no control over what other countries require for entry and/or free movement around their country.

In closing, I want to urge residents to please…not let your guard down when you are out and about.

Please continue to wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer before and after entering any store or public building, shield our medically vulnerable, and continue to wear your mask and keep six feet apart if you are not wearing one.

We are each responsible for our own health as well as the health of our community.

…And with more freedom, comes more responsibility.

Thank You.

Thank you Minister of Health, and that’s certainly good news that we’ve gone ten days without any new cases, and we’re down to only two active cases.

As most would be aware, the state of emergency, that has been in place for Bermuda, since the 1 April, comes to an end tomorrow. Phase 4 of our reopening plan starts on 1 July. One of the changes to Phase 4, and the announcement which was made by Colonel Burch will be that, following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on the reopening of Bermuda today, and following reports that came back to the Cabinet Committee from Bermuda’s grocers, the Cabinet Committee advised that grocery shopping days will end with a start of Phase 4 on 1 July. So, come Wednesday, persons will be permitted under law to attend grocery stores on any given day.

The question is, why did this change take so long? The fact that we wanted to ensure that where we had the number of discount days which we had asked for from the major grocers to be on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and we wanted to see if the grocers would extend those discounts days. Unfortunately, all but one grocer did not take up the offer to extend those discount days. So, tonight I want to give a special thanks to the Lindo’s Group of Companies, who has said that they will continue in the interest of our community. The discount days will be on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays at the Lindo’s stores, through the Cup Match holiday.

And they wanted to say that in doing so, customers may shop at Lindo’s during those days, and receive their discounts. They will look to go to their normal scheduled discounts for Tuesdays for seniors and Wednesdays for everyone else, after the Cup Match holiday. I want to say thank you to Lindo’s stores for working with the Government of Bermuda to try to make sure to reduce congestion, by providing discount days on multiple days.

The necessity to safely reopen the airport and restart our tourism season was underscored by an email I received earlier today. The sender asked me to issue another plea to landlords to be lenient with tenants who, through no fault of their own, have been out of work since the start of the pandemic and unable to pay their rent.

I am encouraging landlords to assist tenants experiencing financial hardship as a result of this pandemic. We ask that landlords consider realistically assessing their own financial situation, and obligations as to how you may be able to assist your tenant. Making sure that you speak with each tenant individually, if you’re renting to more than one tenant, to assess each tenant’s situation on a case by case basis.

Make sure that you’re taking into account the current ability of a tenant to pay and the history of the tenant’s payment record. Landlords are also requested to have compassion for tenants.

We encourage tenants who have the ability to pay their rent to do so in accordance with their current rental agreements If it comes time to go before the courts, and it is shown that you have had income and were able to pay your rent, then I’m quite certain that the courts will look at your situation in a less favorable perspective.

Changes to a lease must be documented and acknowledged by both parties on the agreement reached, including whether any reduction in rent is temporary, or if the rent reduction is to be deferred to a later time, when the tenant may have more of an ability to pay. In addition, any agreement reached to amend payment terms should be reviewed on a monthly basis, valid for up to 90 days.

Of course, the government website coronavirus.gov.bm has a COVID-19 rent relief form, which is there, which can assist landlords and tenants in working through these issues. This government recognizes that there are difficulties for tenants to pay their rent, whether they are at a residential or commercial property, and I want to say that this is the time for all of us in Bermuda to be understanding, supportive, and compassionate, where we are able to do so.

Another matter, regarding Phase 4 is an issue that a lot of persons have questioned – why the curfew has been kept in place. While we are consistently monitoring the situation, and having discussed this, it was determined that with reopening of bars and nightclubs at the commencement of Phase 4, it would possibly be dangerous to open up not only bars and nightclubs, but to remove the curfew at the same time.

No one has to look further than the United States of America, which has seen cases and instances where the rise and spread of the virus has been tied to bars being open and we’ve seen a number of states start to roll back those restrictions. So we’ve always done these things in a phased approach, the phased approach has worked very well for Bermuda, and we want to continue this phased approach. So, we will see how it works for one week, and as was said on Thursday, the curfew will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

It is also important that I remind everyone that wearing your mask is essential. I’ve been given multiple versions of conspiracy theories that have been shared with my by persons on social media or WhatsApp. I’ve read the cases of people around the world who are refusing to wear masks.

Bermuda, very simple, this is not the time to play around with this situation! We wear masks to contain the spread of virus through droplets when we talk, cough or sneeze.  It is specifically intended to protect the people around us. We have to understand that persons can be asymptomatic spreaders; that means they don’t have a fever, they have no symptoms. However, they may be spreading the virus unknowingly. That is the reason why, especially in cases and instances where social distancing cannot be maintained, persons are required to wear masks.

I wear a mask to protect you. And you were a mask protect me. Beyond the containment measures we placed in the border during the initial stages of this pandemic, it has been the public, embracing and adhering to the wearing of mass and frequent hand washing or hand sanitizing that has kept our communities safe, and our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. It is certainly not the time to slip out of the good habits that we as a country have established. We want to go to a place where we will have a long stretch of time where we do not have cases, where we can even remove more and more restrictions. That is important. Recognize that we are down to just two active cases.

Our collective discipline and collective management of this pandemic has been better than demonstrated in larger jurisdictions. We cannot and will not allow behaviour that jeopardizes the health and safety of the community to occur.  I also remind the public that violations of these rules that are designed to keep our community safe, can always be reported by calling 211.

Before I close and take questions for the media tonight, I would like to share with some persons a note of congratulations, as on Saturday, the Minister for Community Affairs and Sports, the Hon. Lovitta Foggo and I had the opportunity to participate in a drive through celebration of the Trophy Presentation to the BFA League Champions.  I want to recognize them this evening.

  • Premier Division Champs North Village Community Club
  • First Division Co-Champs Devonshire Colts and St. George’s Colts
  • U13 Champions – Next Generation Onions
  • U15 Champions – Warwick Archer Bows
  • U17 Champions – PHC

I congratulate all of you on your successes and like many Bermudians around the island, I look forward to the days when we can all go back to safely enjoying watching a good football game by our island’s top athletes.

With that, I want to remind everyone that Phase 4 comes into place, on Wednesday, and that is not a reason to let our guard down. That is a reason to make sure that we maintain our vigilance. The first flight is expected arrive on island on Thursday, and there will be plenty of protection in place at our airport to ensure that we keep our country safe. Recognize, we have had a good record of keeping the country safe during this pandemic and we have every intention of maintaining that good record, as we continue to work together.

With that, I’m happy to take any questions from members of the media.

 

Premier Responds to Petition

Press Release from Premier David Burt, re Petition

Monday, June 29th, 2020

Premier and Minister of Finance, the Hon. David Burt

In response to a petition requesting the government not allow flights in to Bermuda from the United States, Premier the Hon. David Burt, JP MP, today stated, “The Government is aware of the petition that is circulating and the rightful concerns raised by the organizers and those who are signing it. As a country we have managed the impact of COVID-19 in Bermuda. Our current World Health Organization status is sporadic cases.

“This Government’s goal has always been to contain and minimize the impact of the virus, which we have done. However we can’t let the economic impact on the country be worse than the disease itself. In the last three months, the Government has implemented stringent public health guidelines and taken a phased approach to safely opening our economy. This is the next step in a careful and deliberate process.

“We know public health measures work. Physical distancing, wearing a mask and washing hands frequently together with enhanced sanitization processes work. The other key to our success has been extensive testing. In the last few weeks, we have put in place pop up testing locations so everyone can get tested.”

The Premier continued, “Now it is vital that we open the airport and allow visitors to arrive. This is a critical step required to get hundreds of hospitality workers back to work. Our testing requirements for visitors are the most stringent in the world and are designed to keep our residents and visitors safe. The guidelines we are implementing will be strictly adhered to.

“Visitors are strongly encouraged to get tested three to five days before they come to Bermuda. If their testing results are delayed, they will have the option to come to Bermuda, but they will be tested upon arrival and then tested again on day three of their visit. During those three days, the visitor will be required to quarantine in the room at their accommodation. If the pre-departure test result arrives during the 3-day quarantine it will be counted as a valid pre-departure test and the visitor will be released from quarantine.

“Additionally, all visitors coming to Bermuda who have a negative test result will be required to be tested when they arrive, on day 3, day 7 and day 14 of their stay. The number of tests required obviously depends on the length of stay.

“If at any time their test result is positive they will be fitted with a quarantine bracelet and will be required to isolate in their room. The bracelets will alert the authorities if the person attempts to leave their room.

“All visitors will be required to complete an electronic pre-boarding form before they can board a plane to Bermuda. They cannot have a positive test result and must not be sick or have COVID-19 symptoms. The visitor must demonstrate they have health/medical insurance to cover all medical costs should they get sick while in Bermuda.

“If a visitor becomes ill while in Bermuda, they will be required to isolate for a minimum of 14 days at their own expense or until they can leave the island by private jet or yacht.

“Additionally visitors will be told of the requirement to wear a mask, how to establish physical distancing and the requirement to frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.”

The Premier concluded, “As we move forward, we will continually examine our protocols and adjust them, as needed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have proven to be nimble in our response. All agencies involved have shared information and worked together closely. This will continue. We will do all in our power to make sure people in Bermuda remain safe.

“If breaches are observed, members of the public can dial 211 to file a report with the Bermuda Police Service who will investigate immediately.

“We have developed a good record and strong reputation for our handling of the crisis. This will continue.”

COVID-19 Reopening Indicators

COVID-19 Reopening Indicators

Bermuda is monitoring critical indicators to see how we are doing in managing COVID-19 and assess our readiness to move to the next phase of our reopening plan. These indicators are updated on Mondays and Thursday.

As of 25th June 2020:

 

Definitions

 

             Lead measures:

1. Face mask wearing: HealthIQ Reports on observation of mask wearing –

  • >95% report public wearing masks
  • <80% report public wearing masks

2. Physical distancing: HealthIQ Reports on observation of 3 – 6ft physical distancing –

  • >95% report public maintaining distance
  • <80% report public maintaining distance

3. Adoption of Technology: Number of people participating in HealthIQ or Apps (public) –

  • >10,000 unique respondents (All time)
  • <5,000 unique respondents

4. Testing capacity: In stock of all lab consumables, reagents and kits plus enabling resources: staff & PPE

  • >3 months’ supply
  • <1 months’ supply

5. PPE supplies (critical): In stock of: surgical mask, N95 mask, gloves, gowns and face shields

  • >5 months’ supply
  • >3 months’ supply
             Lag measures:

6. Classification: WHO Country classification

  • Green: Sporadic cases
  • Amber: Local transmission
  • Red:Community transmission

7. Transmission: Proportion of cases able to be linked to known cases or clusters

  • <10% unknown transmission
  • >20% unknown transmission

8. Reproduction rate: Real time reproduction number average over last 7 days

  • Rt <1.0
  • Rt >1.4

9. Hospitalizations: New COVID-related hospitalizations

  • <7 over last 7 days
  • >21 over last 7 days

10. Critical care: COVID-related ICU cases

  • <4 concurrent per week
  • >7 concurrent per week

11. COVID-19 cases: Number of new cases per week

  • <12 over last 7 days
  • >35 over last 7 days

June 25th COVID-19 Press Conference

Bermuda Government COVID-19 June 25th Update

 

 

Good afternoon Bermuda and thank you for joining us.

As a country, we have made excellent progress and Bermuda is being recognized for our collective progress in successfully navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.  From an overwhelming majority of us working together, and following the public health advice, we remain on pace to enter Phase 4 of the country’s reopening when the State of Emergency expires on Wednesday 1 July 2020.

Today, I’m joined by the Minister of Health Kim Wilson, the Minister for Public Works Lt. Col. David Burch, Minister for Tourism and Transport, Zane De Silva and the Minister for National Security, Min. Wayne Caines.

The focus of today’s briefing will be on outlining measures as we move into Phase 4, Our New Normal. There has been a lot of work getting us to this point, and before the Minister of Health gives her update from her ministry, I would like to pay tribute to all of our public officers, healthcare workers, volunteers, essential services workers, and all of you for doing your part to get us to where we are today. Thank you.

Minster Wilson who will give an update from the Ministry of Health.

MINISTER WILSON STATEMENT

Good Afternoon,

Today there were 220 test results received by the Ministry of Health; and none were positive for COVID-19.

Bermuda has 146 total confirmed positive cases. Their status is as follows:

  • there are now just 4 active cases, of which
  • 3 are under active public health monitoring, and
  • 1 is hospitalized;
  • none is in critical care.
  • A total of 133 have recovered, and
  • the total deceased remains 9.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 60 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 101 years.

Overall, 57% of all cases are Black, 40% are white and 3% are other or unknown.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

  • 42 are Imported
  • 85 are Local transmission, with known contact
  • 13 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
  • 6 are under investigation

So far Bermuda has conducted 10,634 COVID-19 tests and over 98% have been negative. This is really good news for us…and is reflective of our adherence to the rules when it comes to preventive measures such as mask-wearing, physical distancing, staying home when sick, avoiding large gatherings, limiting our social interactions and shielding our vulnerable…None of which should be abandoned as we prepare to enter Phase 4 next week.

On that last point, I just want to say that continuing to shield persons who are clinically extremely vulnerable and very elderly persons will be more important than ever as we enter Phase 4.

Such individuals must be shielded not just from the public but also from household members who go out into the public.

For instance, if you are a family member who is the caregiver of a vulnerable person, you must take strict precautions when providing hands-on care to the shielded person if you go out to do the shopping, errands etc. You should wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart from the shielded individual where possible.

And if you must do hands-on care, please review the guidance for care-givers outlining the precautions you must take which can be found at coronavirus.gov.bm.

The specific shielding measures that vulnerable individuals should follow can also be found there and include avoiding close face-to-face contact with others, avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus and not attending any gatherings.

I want to be clear: Moving to Phase 4 does not mean everything is ‘okay’. We are reopening for the sake of our mental well-being and our economic survival… we are NOT reopening because there is no longer any threat from COVID-19.

We are able to reopen because we have done so well as a community in containing COVID that we have proven that we have the ability to practice responsible preventive measures.

So please use caution over these next few weeks…And if you are in any doubt over whether you should or should not do something, just don’t do it. You can always call the COVID-19 hotline at 444-2498 for advice.

As of July 1st, Government no longer requires incoming travellers to self-quarantine for 14-days. We will, however, require pre-boarding testing, testing on arrival and intermittent testing during stay, with public health measures – which the Premier has already mentioned. I will now detail some of the specifics around the testing of incoming travelers…

Before leaving their place of origin, travelers should pack a thermometer so they can self-monitor per public health supervision once they arrive.

Visitors must show proof of a negative PCR COVID result from a sample obtained ideally within 72 hours of travel in order to board (up to 5 days is acceptable). This can be a written lab result from verifiable lab or physician.  Negative tests should be verified through an online “Travel Authorization” process that will go live next week.

Residents and Visitors unable to have access to a pre-departure test can test on arrival, quarantine for 3 days, and then test on day 3 to allow equivalence with the 72 hour ‘pre-boarding clearance’.

Visitors and Residents must all be tested on arrival (at the airport) and quarantine at their accommodation until a negative RT-PCR result is received.

A nasopharyngeal test is required for adults. Children aged 10-17 will likely be able to take a saliva test. Children under 10 will not be tested.

Test results are expected in within 8 – 24 hours (depending on arrival time). If a negative result is obtained, those with ‘pre-boarding clearance’ may circulate freely amongst the community.

Travellers, like residents, will be required to wear masks in all public places and follow physical distancing guidelines.

All Visitors and returning residents will be under public health supervision during the first 14 days of their stay, and will have to complete a very short online health self-report daily, including temperature.

A COVID test will be required on set days and their health status must be reported to public health officer. These set days are day 3, 7 and 14.

Travelers will be mandated to be accessible by phone, email, text and a physical address in order to communicate with a Health Officer.

A traveller will only be fully cleared after receiving a ‘day-14 negative test’.

If a traveller becomes COVID positive, or symptomatic, or is a close contact of a positive person, they will be quarantined or isolated, as appropriate. Any traveller who does not wish to be subjected to the required testing will have to quarantine for 14 days AND either (a) have the day-14 clearance test, OR (b) quarantine for a further 14 days with no clearance test.

As closing, I want to remind the public of the COVID-19 pop-up testing taking place around the island this weekend:

On Friday June 26, testing will take place from 9am until 1pm at the Hamilton Cathedral and at the Somerset MarketPlace from 3pm until 7pm.

On Saturday June 27 testing will be held at the Southside testing facility (at the old White’s Supermarket) from 9am until 1pm.

Then on Sunday June 28 testing will be held at the Modern Mart from 12pm until 5pm and also at the Southside testing facility from 9am until 1pm.

In order to ensure that wait times at pop-up testing venues are as minimal as possible, I would encourage residents wishing to get tested, to please ideally book an appointment. This makes it a faster, more convenient experience for you.

You can book online via the government website coronavirus.gov.bm or call the COVID-19 hotline 444-2498 between 9am and 9pm to make a reservation. A full schedule of testing days and times has been posted to the Government website.  For more information about pop-up testing, you can call 444-2498.

Thank You, Bermuda, and, please, wear your mask and keep six feet apart if you are not wearing one.

Thank you very much Minister of Health. That is a great news to know that we had so many test results back today, and none of them were positive. Your team continues to do great work in the community. I want to thank and pay tribute to the entire staff at the Ministry of Health.

Now we will have an update from Minister Burch, who is the chair of the Cabinet Committee for reopening of the economy on the details surrounding the start of Phase 4, Our New Normal, on 1 July.

MINISTER BURCH STATEMENT

Good evening.

You may will from Monday’s press conference that the Cabinet Subcommittee on the Strategic Reopening of Bermuda was to present to Cabinet on Tuesday last recommendations for the Traveller Entry Policy to be applied on the resumption of scheduled commercial flights into Bermuda (that will be covered by Minister DeSilva) and the recommended matters for Phase 4 of the reopening of Bermuda.

I wish to remind that Phase 4 will commence next Wednesday July 1st at 6 am – so we are still in Phase 3b until then but we are providing advance notice so that affected parties can plan ahead.

Phase 4 will consist of the following:

  1. The State of Emergency will end on the 30th June
  2. Permitted gatherings will increase to a maximum of 50 persons
  3. Requests for larger gatherings must apply to the Minister of National Security for permission with a plan to include social distancing and masks.
  4. Masks must be worn indoors.   Masks must be worn outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  5. Recreational scuba diving will permitted
  6. Subject to public health guidelines nightclubs and bars will reopen
  7. Holy Communion will be permitted
  8. Temperature taking as a precondition for entry into government buildings will end, however, masks and hand sanitizing is still required.
  9. The government quarantine site will close on June 30th

Since we have started a trend of having sub phases – we have two items that will likely form a Phase 4b – they are:

Subject to successful discussions with grocery stores to retain two or     three discount days, alphabetized shopping will end

The curfew will shift to 12 midnight in the evenings to 5am in the morning and will be reviewed weekly.

While we as a country have made enormous progress – the Committee is mindful of mitigating the risk and recognize that we still have to be cautious and follow the Health protocols that have gotten us to this point.

Thank you, Premier.

Thank you Col. Burch for that update.

With the hospitality industry hardest hit by the shutdown, Phase 4 will provide hope to our hospitality workers and industry that there will be some activity in 2020. Tourism is vital to our economy given the employment that it provides.

Minister DeSilva will now detail the extensive and rigorous protective measures that we are confident will keep Bermuda and our visitors safe.

MINISTER DESILVA STATEMENT

Good afternoon,

I know many Bermudians are keen to stretch their legs beyond our shores, just as many who have been stranded abroad are anxious to return.

I am pleased that the Ministry of Health and my Ministry have been able to work together to produce a set of travellers’ guidelines which keep our visitors and residents safe.

After all, our island home is a precious resource, and we need to ensure our community is protected as we look forward to welcoming residents home and inviting visitors to experience our jewel in the Atlantic. 2

When regularly scheduled commercial flights resume in July, we anticipate Air Canada, Delta Air Lines and British Airways to service the island.

These schedules are always subject to change but, at present, the flights are as follows:

  • From Thursday, 2 July, Air Canada will fly weekly from Toronto,
  • Starting Monday, 6 July, Delta will fly daily from Atlanta, and,
  • Beginning Friday, 17 July, British Airways will fly twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays.

Delta’s flights from New York and Boston are on hold. JetBlue anticipates providing service from those two cities starting in August, while American Airlines will fly from New York.

The other air service that we believe will start in August is WestJet, also from Toronto.

Flights from Philadelphia and Miami on American will not begin before December.

What we refer to as ‘seasonal’ flights from Newark, Washington DC and Charlotte are cancelled for 2020.

Where does this leave us?

The percentage change in our air capacity, i.e. available seats, year over year is as follows: 3

  • When we restricted entry only to Bermuda residents in March, that led to a 45.6% reduction in air capacity,
  • In April, May and June, we experienced a 100% reduction in air capacity as no commercial flights landed, and,
  • For July through to December we anticipate a reduction in seats available of between 91.9% (in July) and 26% (in December).

On average, as a result of the pandemic, Bermuda will experience a 61.7% reduction in air capacity in 2020, when compared with 2019.

What does that look like in numbers?

In 2019 our air capacity amounted to 579,720 seats and the 2020 projection was 543,325 seats. Now, we project a total for 2020 of 221,940 available seats. That is 357,780 fewer seats for travelers than last year.

I must emphasise these schedules change regularly – weekly, even! So, we will continue to monitor seat availability as and when schedules adjust.

Working with the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Bermuda Airport Authority and Skyport, the Ministry of Tourism and Transport will seek to increase air capacity and encourage visitation as it is prudent to do so. Our economy depends on it.

As I stated at the beginning, the Bermuda Government has placed great emphasis on community safety and creating an island space where visitors will be able to relax. 4

We must all do our part to ensure that, as we progress into Phase 4, we continue to embrace all the health measures that benefit us all: keep your distance and wear your mask!

Thank you.

Thank you, Minister De Silva

As we make decisions like the reopening LF Wade International Airport, the public should know that safety is first and foremost in our minds.

The high degree of screening and the protective measures we have identified are not just about keeping you safe, but were also shaped with the understanding that we have skin in the game as well.  Getting this wrong puts the entire country at risk. That is the reason why we are making sure that we get this right the first time.

There are many who believe we should keep our borders closed. I understand the fears that persons may have as they see the news how some countries have not managed to handle their outbreaks. What is important to know is that Bermuda is as safe as we are, due to the wide scale testing, and we will ensure that is applied to our visitors who will be required to be tested as well. Prior to departure, upon departure, during their time here on island.

Bermuda’s regime will likely be the strictest in the world, but visitors want a safe place to visit, and that is what Bermuda will be – that safe place.

I now invite Minister Wayne Caines, to give an update on the Ministry of National Security’s plans as we move into Phase 4, Our New Normal.  Minister Caines.

MINISTER CAINES’ STATEMENT

Good evening Bermuda:

First allow me to extend my thanks and appreciation to all of our essential workers, the Disaster Risk Reduction Mitigation Team and all of the Ministry of National Security’s uniformed personnel who braved the frontlines during the last 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the people of this Country were kept safe.

You are a huge reason why we are on track to move into Phase 4 in a relatively good state.

We all owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude for your service and your commitment to Bermuda and its people.

Bermuda, as we move into Phase 4 next week, here are a few key points for the community to be aware of.

We recognize that our beaches, parks and surrounding waters will continue to see increased usage as the summer progresses.

And as we navigate towards the lifting of the State of Emergency on June 30th, it’s critical that we remain vigilant as a community by following the safety guidelines in place by the Ministry of Health.

Next week, Phase 4 will allow gatherings of up to 50 persons. And we recognise that there are some members of the public who will wish to host events or gatherings of more than 50 persons.

However I must caution – any event or gathering of more than 50 people, must have the permission of the Minister of National Security.

In that regard an application must be made seeking approval.

To assist the public, a planning guide for any gatherings of over 50 people will be available on the Government website.

However, the general process once application is made is as follows:

  • Event organisers, this includes planners and promoters for larger functions such as concerts – will have to submit an event safety plan taking the guidance into consideration when planning their event.
  • A form will be made available on www.gov.bm for persons to apply for permission to hold an event for more than 50 persons. Guidance surrounding this will be on the form.
  • The Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Team will review the applications with the Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies.
  • If permitted, the DRRM Team will issue an approval letter outlining the health and safety conditions for hosting the event.
  • A copy of all approval letters will be sent to the Bermuda Police Service.
  • To ensure that we provide the clearest possible advice to potential event planners and promoters for large scale events, the Ministry of National Security will host a meeting at a date and location to be announced in due course.
  • Anyone wishing to attend this meeting should email: emogroup@gov.bm and include in the subject line – Promoters / Event Planners Meeting.

Turning to the Bermuda Police Service, Royal Bermuda Regiment and the Coast Guard:  

  • The BPS and Regiment continue to work in partnership to ensure adherence to COVID regulations.
  • On land compliance is positive however there were 19 curfew breaches on the water last weekend with boaters ignoring the 10pm curfew and having to be directed to shore.
  • Law enforcement action will now be taken to those that fail to comply with the marine curfew.
  • The BPS will place additional resources this weekend at locations where disorder has taken place previously.
  • The BPS continue to investigate the recent incidents of serious violence, including the murder of 22-year-old Joshua Rowse. Four parties believed to be involved were arrested and are now on bail. Enquiries continue into the case and the BPS continues to support the family of Mr. Rowse

It is now believed all recent incidents, including the murder of Joshua Rowse and the attack on the female with a machete, are connected.

Further parties have been arrested and enquiries continue. The BPS thanks the community for the information they have provided to assist the investigation. Targeted patrols have been placed in the area of Warwick to reassure the public and respond quickly to incidents. Intelligence is being used to deter and prevent further gang retaliation.

Also this past weekend there were reports of a disturbance at Chaplin Bay involving fighting with helmets and knives. On arrival of BPS the group had dispersed. One male attended KEMH with a stab wound to arm and was arrested. Enquiries are ongoing.

The BPS also continue their search for Chavelle Dillon Burgess alongside ongoing enquiries in regards to the arrest of a 39-year-old male.

As a reminder, there is a $50,000 reward being offered for any person who can assist the BPS in locating Chavelle.

Regarding the RBR, over the nearly four month embodiment period, our soldiers have provided and maintained an invaluable service.

Over the next few days, the Coast Guard will continue to enforce Bermuda’s maritime laws and the COVID regulations. Again as is my familiar refrain – raft ups are still prohibited and the limit is 20 persons for recreational boats. All commercial boats are allowed as many persons as the license allows, as long as they maintain appropriate physical distancing.

I want to remind that this weekend we are still in Phase 3, so though we are announcing Phase 4 plans, it’s important to note that the new guidelines for Phase 4 do not go into effect until next week Wednesday. Existing rules for Phase 3 remain in effect for this weekend. And we will be enforcing the guidelines this weekend.

As I close, I wish to share some key Coast Guard summary points:

  • There were 84 days of continual operations.
  • We had 7 Coast Guard vessels in use.
  • There were 343 Operations conducted from Watford House.
  • There were an average of four, 4 hour patrols per day.
  • There were 4,206 instances of engagement with water craft.
  • The Coast Guard issued 173 warnings; served 33 summons; assisted with 8 arrests; and issued 38 tickets
  • Conducted 6 Search and Rescues; More than a dozen boat tows; AND
  • Participated in 1 Joint Exercise with the British Royal Navy.

Thank you.

Thank you Minister.

As we have heard, the government is working to make sure our island stays safe as we fully open our economy. I am confident about our ability to move our economy forward as we resume our normal activities.

Those of you who may be hesitant to return to work, to venture out to shops and restaurants, you can do so knowing the precautions you must take personally, while large and small businesses, retail establishments, restaurants and other businesses know what they must do to maintain a safe environment.

During my quarterly meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, I restated my position. Bermuda has faced the COVID-19 crisis head on. Guided by the Ministry of Health, we have put appropriate measures in place to ensure that we can continue to stay healthy as our economy opens fully.

I encourage everyone in Bermuda to follow the guidelines and confidently return to your places of work, engage in leisure activities, visit retail establishments, go to lunch and dinner, buy breakfast, patronize small businesses and even feel free to socialize after work.

Take advantage of the staycation offers available from our hotels, and feel free to make sure you support our local economy. We have supported each other in the last three months. Now is the time to continue to support each other as we move towards Our New Normal.

While we continue to live our lives it is important that we pay close attention to what we have learned over the past few months. As long as Bermuda follows the public health guidelines, and as long as we continue to wear our masks, despite what you may see on YouTube, about the fact it may not be health. It is important to make sure it is done to reduce any possible spread of this virus.

From the start, we have been determined to prevent the economic impact of COVID-19 from being worse than the virus itself.  And it’s critically important that all of us continue to do our part.

As we conclude our briefing today and take questions from the members of the media who are here today, I would like to take a moment to reflect on how far we have come and how much we as a people have overcome.  With no tried and tested global template to follow and no proven pathway to success to emulate, Bermuda has demonstrated creativity, resilience and discipline.

We have truly punched above our weight in terms of the managing a crisis that many larger jurisdictions have mishandled.  Now is not the time to get complacent and now is not the time to sit on our laurels. As we prepare to move into Phase 4 next week, let us continue to do what we have done that has made us successful and together as a country, I am certain we will succeed.

COVID-19 Reopening Indicators

COVID-19 Reopening Indicators

Bermuda is monitoring critical indicators to see how we are doing in managing COVID-19 and assess our readiness to move to the next phase of our reopening plan. These indicators are updated on Mondays and Thursday.

As of 22nd June 2020:

Definitions

 

             Lead measures:

1. Face mask wearing: HealthIQ Reports on observation of mask wearing –

  • >95% report public wearing masks
  • <80% report public wearing masks

2. Physical distancing: HealthIQ Reports on observation of 3 – 6ft physical distancing –

  • >95% report public maintaining distance
  • <80% report public maintaining distance

3. Adoption of Technology: Number of people participating in HealthIQ or Apps (public) –

  • >10,000 unique respondents (All time)
  • <5,000 unique respondents

4. Testing capacity: In stock of all lab consumables, reagents and kits plus enabling resources: staff & PPE

  • >3 months’ supply
  • <1 months’ supply

5. PPE supplies (critical): In stock of: surgical mask, N95 mask, gloves, gowns and face shields

  • >5 months’ supply
  • >3 months’ supply
             Lag measures:

6. Classification: WHO Country classification

  • Green: Sporadic cases
  • Amber: Local transmission
  • Red:Community transmission

7. Transmission: Proportion of cases able to be linked to known cases or clusters

  • <10% unknown transmission
  • >20% unknown transmission

8. Reproduction rate: Real time reproduction number average over last 7 days

  • Rt <1.0
  • Rt >1.4

9. Hospitalizations: New COVID-related hospitalizations

  • <7 over last 7 days
  • >21 over last 7 days

10. Critical care: COVID-related ICU cases

  • <4 concurrent per week
  • >7 concurrent per week

11. COVID-19 cases: Number of new cases per week

  • <12 over last 7 days
  • >35 over last 7 days

COVID-19 Update 24 June

Ministry of Health Press Release

Today there were 41 test results received by the Ministry of Health, and none were positive for COVID-19.

Bermuda continues to have 146 total confirmed positive cases. Their status is as follows:

  • there are 5 active cases, of which
  • 4 persons are under active public health monitoring, and
  • 1 person is hospitalized;
  • none is in critical care;
  • a total of 132 have now recovered, and
  • the total deceased remains 9.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 60 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 101 years.

The average age of all deceased cases is 74 and the age range is 57 to 91 years.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

  • 42 are Imported
  • 85 are Local transmission, with known contact
  • 13 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
  • 6 are under investigation

Bermuda’s country status is “Local Transmission – Sporadic Cases”. The seven-day average of our real time reproduction number is below 1.

Daily COVID-19 Update: 23 June

Ministry of Health Press Release

Today there were 58 test results received by the Ministry of Health, and none were positive for COVID-19.

Bermuda continues to have 146 total confirmed positive cases. Their status is as follows:

  • there are 5 active cases, of which
  • 4 persons are under active public health monitoring, and
  • 1 person is hospitalized;
  •  none is in critical care;
  • a total of 132 have now recovered, and
  • the total deceased remains 9.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 60 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 101 years.

The average age of all deceased cases is 74 and the age range is 57 to 91 years.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

  • 42 are Imported
  • 85 are Local transmission, with known contact
  • 13 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
  • 6 are under investigation

Bermuda’s country status is “Local Transmission – Sporadic Cases”. The seven-day average of our real time reproduction number is below 1.

June 22, 2020 Update

Bermuda Government COVID-19 Update June 22 2020

Good evening Bermuda.

I trust that all fathers had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend.

Today we will cover a number of topics ranging from the latest COVID-19 testing results; an update from the Ministry of Health, to the strategy at the LF Wade International Airport to protect workers, passengers and our community as we safely reopen our borders and put our people back to work.

Today, I am joined by the Minister of Health, Minister Kim Wilson, the President of Skyport, Mr. Aaron Adderley and the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne Caines is here to answer questions from the media.

Before the Minister of Health provides her updates, I’d like to take a moment to address the recent incidents of violence, which should disturb all of us, and that community-minded Bermudians find repugnant and universally condemned.

We have emerged from a weekend marred by horrific acts of violence committed against a female by a group of males. It is not surprising that many are wrestling with the question of how we can better live in peace with each other on our small island of Bermuda. The violence we see is a symptom of a deeper problem within our society. Whether it is the racial imbalance in employment and opportunities, or the racial disparities in wages and life outcomes, the ongoing cycle of violence is a manifestation of hundreds of years of abuse and trauma.

Too many of our young men feel disconnected and disenchanted within our society. And around the world, it has been proven that those who do not see a place for themselves, or a value from society will, in many cases, not care if their actions, destroy that society.

Words do matter, but only to an extent. Continued community action is needed to make our young black men feel valued and included. Action that creates opportunities for achievement, validation, and positive transformation will help bring our disaffected, and disenchanted youth back into the bosom of a loving, caring and inclusive Bermuda. I am grateful to everyone who continues the work to make this a reality. The government will continue to support those actions, and I know that the Minister of National Security will continue the work in this sphere to tackle the root causes, which are manifesting in this abhorrent violence.

Now, we’ll hear from the Minister of Health, on the latest COVID-19 test results and other pressing matters as our ministry keeps for you to safe from the novel coronavirus.

MINISTER OF HEALTH STATEMENT

Good Afternoon,

Between Sunday and today there were an amazing 336 test results received by the Ministry of Health; and none were positive for COVID-19. That is excellent news for all of us.

I’m thankful to the whole community for practicing the necessary preventive measures like wearing a mask and washing your hands. These are the things we need to keep doing to control and contain COVID in Bermuda.

Bermuda has 146 total confirmed positive cases. Their status is as follows:

  • there are 5 active cases, of which
  • 4 are under active public health monitoring, and
  • 1 is hospitalized;
  • none is in critical care.
  • A total of 132 have recovered, and
  • the total deceased remains 9.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 60 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 101 years.

Overall, 57% of all cases are Black, 40% are white and 3% are other or unknown.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

  • 42 are Imported
  • 85 are Local transmission, with known contact
  • 12 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
  • 7 are under investigation

I’m delighted to report that as of moments ago, PAHO’s designation of Bermuda’s country status has been improved “Sporadic Cases”. The seven-day average of our real time reproduction number is below 1.

Our reopening scorecard has been updated today and our status has improved with our new WHO designation. In addition, I’m happy to report that over 8,200 people have registered on HealthIQ, getting us closer to the 10,000 mark. The more people reporting on their status, mask wearing and physical distancing, the stronger our position will be as we approach phase 4.

I can share with you that, as of today, summer camps will now register online to provide the Ministry of Health and the Department of Youth and Sport, information about their staff, children and the programme they run. This information will be critical for infection control as well as quality control of camps in the future.

While these settings are not formally regulated, parents can be assured that if the camp name appears on our registration list, there will be monitoring to ensure compliance with health guidelines.

Camps will now be able to begin the registration process on the schools, child care and camp webpage on the Government portal and parents will be able to visit the list of registered camps on the same page by the end of the week.

I now want to draw your attention to some of our Phase 3 and 3B Guidance and Directions which have been recently created and posted to the Government website: coronavirus.gov.bm.

In particular, I want to go over some of the points from the Indoor Dining Directions.

Now that we are a couple of weeks into Phase 3, some of you may have already had the opportunity to go out for a meal. You may have found certain things unfamiliar or even odd. For those who have not yet experienced indoor dining post-shelter in place, here are a few things you should be prepared to see and experience:

Firstly, booking ahead is highly recommended, while walk-in’s will be recorded and regulated.

You will notice that all staff members will be wearing masks at all times. As a guest, you must wear a face mask whilst waiting to be seated and at all other times when not at your table. To protect your server and other restaurant staff, you should also wear your mask when interacting with them.

Remember that the droplets that spread COVID don’t disappear when you sit down. If you are speaking to someone within 6 feet of you, wear your mask.

Physical distancing of at least 6 feet (2 metres) must be maintained during any waiting or queuing and you must use the hand sanitizers provided before entering the establishment.

You will be greeted at the door by a dedicated staff member and only granted access if safe to do so while adhering to physical distancing.  This will be particularly important at establishments with narrow entrances.  In particular you will not be allowed to enter when others are leaving in order to avoid close contact.

Businesses are recommended to monitor the health of staff and diners; therefore your temperature may be taken and recorded. Managers will also have the right to remove guests who show other signs of COVD-19 (like coughing or sweating) at their discretion.

Dining establishments have systems in place to ensure adequate physical distancing within restrooms; this may, in many instances, allow for only one person to use the restroom at any given time. Please be prepared for this. Restaurants must enforce this so please don’t give staff a hard time if they do. They are only following the rules and trying to keep you safe.

Contact Tracing is an essential part of combatting any outbreak of communicable disease. Therefore the contact details of one ‘primary diner’ will be recorded and include the date and time of visit, full name, address, phone number and email address.

There will be a mandatory space of 6 feet between tables or physical barriers in place when 6 feet is not reasonably practicable.

A few other things that have changed are:

  • The menu may look different than it used to; we are asking restaurants to provide you with single use, washable or digital menus.
  • There will be no direct service at bars.
  • There will be no self-serve salad or buffet bars. Food must only be served by the chef, instead of self-service buffets.
  • Packaged cutlery and single use condiments can be provided to you, if you like.
  • E-receipts will be offered in place of paper ones.
  • Napkin service is suspended until further notice (i.e. no placing in a guest’s lap).

This guidance and many others can be found on the Government website coronavirus.gov.bm.

As closing, I want to remind the public of the COVID-19 pop-up testing taking place around the island this week:

On Wednesday June 24th testing will take place at the Hamilton Cathedral from 11:30am until 2pm and again from 4pm until 7pm. There will also be pop-up testing at the Heron Bay MarketPlace on Wednesday from 3pm until 7pm.

On Thursday June 25th there will be testing at the Southside Facility (at the old Whites Supermarket location) from 10am until 7pm and at the Shelly Bay MarketPlace from 3pm until 7pm.

On Friday June 26th pop-up testing will take place at the Hamilton Cathedral from 9am until 1pm and at the Somerset MarketPlace from 3pm until 7pm.

At Thursday’s press conference, I will give a reminder about the locations for weekend testing.

In order to ensure that wait times at pop-up testing venues are as minimal as possible, I would encourage residents wishing to get tested, to please ideally book an appointment. This makes it a faster, more convenient experience for you.

You can book online via the government website coronavirus.gov.bm or call the COVID-19 hotline 444-2498 between 9am and 9pm to make a reservation. A full schedule of testing days and times has been posted to the Government website.

For more information about pop-up testing, you can call 444-2498.

Thank You, Bermuda, and, please, wear your mask and keep six feet apart if you are not wearing one.

Thank you very much, Minister of Health, and it is great certainly to hear inside of your update today that Bermuda’s status has been upgraded by the World Health Organization to Sporadic Cases up from clusters of cases.

It will take a lot of work and effort to keep us there as a country, but it’s important, Bermuda, that you adhere to the health guidance, which has been given and continue to do what is necessary to protect you and your families, so we can keep the transmission of this virus, at a minimum.

The reopening of LF Wade International Airport is a critical part of getting Bermudians back to work. Yet we recognize that we cannot open the airport until we are in a position to protect our Bermudian workers at the airport, protect our hospitality workers and protect the people who enter our jurisdiction. Today we are joined by Mr. Aaron Adderley, President of Skyport who will provide an update on the procedures being put in place at the airport for the benefit and safety of all.

AARON ADDERLEY STATEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Mr. Adderley.

I know that many Bermudians are concerned about the reopening of our borders, especially with the news that other countries do not have rigorous controls in place that we have established in Bermuda. Increases in spikes in other places are cause for concern, but I am confident that our regime is robust. In Bermuda, we do not have a mass tourism market, and as is being stated, though the airports are going to reopen the flights are going to be slow to pick up, so I’m certain that the month of July will allow us to continue to streamline our process. But, with the testing requirements before persons board the flight, in addition to testing on arrival, we’re confident that we’ll be able to keep the country safe.

The Cabinet Committee on reopening the economy met earlier today, and will be making a recommendation for Cabinet’s consideration tomorrow. Full details regarding Phase 4 will be shared, at this press conference on Thursday. However, at this time we are still on track for Phase 4 to commence at the expiration of the state of emergency, next week Wednesday. Last week Thursday when reviewing items in Phase 3B left out changes that were in law to allow community clubs and members’ clubs to provide outdoor bar services.

These clubs are a linchpin in the social fabric of our community and serve as meeting places, sports centers and home to good food and fellowship. In keeping with what was done for other establishments, community clubs and members clubs were included in the last round of amendments for Phase 3B, and as of last week Thursday, were allowed to operate on the same basis as bars, providing outdoor service if they held a liquor license.

The regulations require that tables be at least six feet apart, or where that is not reasonably practicable separated by barriers of at least six and a half feet high. No group at any one table should exceed ten persons, and no groups shall exceed 20 persons in total. No customer shall stand at the bar or elsewhere, and indoor areas of the bars shall remain closed.

Access to toilets are permitted in accordance with the directions issued by the Ministry of Health. I would like to apologize for missing this on Thursday, as I know I got a number of questions afterwards, as I promised the week before that those be included in Phase 3B. They were actually included in the changes that were made by the Governor last week Thursday. However, I did not include them in my remarks and therefore I apologize.

Just a few more announcements before we take questions. I’ve been informed that Dr. Carika Weldon and the team at the Bermuda Government Molecular Diagnostic Lab have launched a WhatsApp service. This will be similar to the government WhatsApp service and will provide updates and provide answers to questions and queries from the public.

To get in touch with this WhatsApp service, please add 441-500-1982. I’ll say that one more time, 500-1982 to your contacts and send them a WhatsApp message to sign up for the service. And of course the government WhatsApp service continues to provide information to the public, and I encourage everyone, if you have not yet signed up for the government’s WhatsApp service, please add the phone number, 504-6045, to your contacts and send us a message, a simple message and said ‘hi’, and you will receive updates from the government.

I’m now happy to take any questions from members of the media at this time.