Press Conference on Saturday March 28th
Good afternoon Bermuda:
As a further measure of public safety the Governor, in consultation with the Premier, the Hon. David Burt has exercised his authority under the Emergency Powers Act 1963.
This has allowed for the enactment of the Summary Offences (Curfew) Order 2020 where the public is required to be off the roads or highways during certain hours of darkness.
As the Premier announced yesterday, the Curfew order takes effect tomorrow, Sunday 29th March 2020, from 8.00 p.m. – 6.00 a.m. for the next three days in the first instance.
For the avoidance of doubt, a “Highway” is defined as any public road, street, lane, alley, wharf or any public place in Bermuda. The curfew will be imposed for three days. And we will review matters every three days as the situation requires. However again, we are stressing that during non-curfew hours, people are encouraged to stay at home except to purchase essentials or for medical emergencies.
An operational plan has been prepared by the Commissioner of Police to carry out the objectives of the Summary Offences (Curfew) Order 2020.
Officers from Departments across the Service will be deployed in conjunction with RBR personnel.
There will be a combination of static Roadside Community Advisory points at key junctions across the island and roving patrols.
Drivers and persons using the highways will be stopped and advised to return immediately to their homes.
Persons who have written permission of a Police Officer of the rank of Chief Inspector or above will be allowed to proceed.
Persons who fall into the professional categories listed in the orders will also be allowed to proceed.
Any persons who are found to be contravening the Curfew will be arrested and on conviction will be fined $2,880 or imprisoned for 6 months or both.
Emergency and uniformed services on duty are exempt from the curfew. This means:
- Police Officers;
- Reserve Police Officers;
- Bermuda Fire & Rescue;
- Royal Bermuda Regiment;
- Department of Customs;
- Department of Immigration; and
- Corrections Officers.
Other exemptions are as follows and include individuals who provide a critical service for Bermuda:
- The Premier, Ministers of the Cabinet, the Cabinet Secretary, Head of the Public Service and Permanent Secretaries;
- The Deputy Governor and Government House staff, Judges of the Supreme Court, Magistrates and Court Associates; US Consul General and Staff and All Honorary Consul;
- Any registered medical practitioner, registered nurses, ambulance drivers and crew, or any other medical practitioner employed with the BHB; and
- Licensed security officers, Stevedoring services and dock workers, Department of Child and Family Services; staff of BELCO, Digicel, ONE Communications and members of the Press.
Persons with exemptions who are in public must have a copy of Valid Driving License and or Valid Employment ID.
Those persons listed in the above mentioned exemptions, who perform a critical service in Bermuda, will be required to submit a request to the Bermuda Police Service, who will vet and approve or deny the request.
The online form can be found on the Government website www.forms.gov.bm/covid19/curfew the form is called the Curfew Exemptions Form.
In the case an emergency please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the public can appreciate, these measures are being taken to reduce the movement of people around the Island so that we, have the best possible opportunity to reduce the risk of community transmission of this virus.
I will now provide an update on where we are as it relates to the Bermuda Police Service and RBR’s Community Advisory Points and the Community Advisory Home Visits.
The legislation that supports both of these actions can be found within the Public Health Act 1949 in addition to the Public Health (COVID19) Regulations 2020.
The Public Health Act 1949 section 10 provides the police The ability to aid and assist generally in carrying out the provisions and objects of this Act; and if any contravention of this Act or of any regulations, orders or direction made in pursuance thereof becomes known to any police officer, he shall forthwith report the contravention or failure to a Public Health Officer.
A notice/direction was issued by the Chief Medical Officer pursuant to section 69 of the Public Health Act and the Public Health (COVID-19) Regulations 2020.
It was made clear that each person arriving in Bermuda on any flights listed in that notice shall be subject to public health supervision for 14 days from the date of arrival in Bermuda as directed by a Public Health Officer.
Furthermore, each person to whom this Order applies shall conduct public health supervision by:
- separating himself from others at his home or accommodation in such manner as shall be required under Ministry of Health (COVID-19) Guidelines; and
- remaining at his home or accommodation at all times (except to seek urgent medical care);
- complying with self-monitoring and reporting requirements of a Public Health Officer; and
- immediately returning to his home or accommodation when so ordered by a Health Officer or police officer.
Additionally, section 18 of the Public Health (COVID 19) Regulations 2020, allows for a Health Officer or Police Officer to advise those persons who are not in compliance with the regulations to return to the place of public health supervision.
As a result, Community Advisory Points were put in place throughout the island, commencing on Monday 23rdMarch 2020. The numbers of Community Advisory points are as follows:
- On Monday there were 90
- Tuesday there were 1106
- Wednesday there were 925
- Thursday there were 291
- Friday there were 376.
- Today, Saturday 28th as of this press conference there were 138
Total number of Community Advisory Points was 2,926.
None of the Community Check Points identified any persons who were under quarantine.
The BPS commenced Community Advisory Home Visits on Thursday 26th 2020.
The numbers are as follows:
- On Thursday 16 visits were completed. Two persons were not at home.
- On Friday 70 visits were completed. Three persons were not at home.
- Today at the time of this press briefing there were 54 home visits and 4 persons were not at home.
Total persons identified as non-compliant to self-quarantine is 9 persons
Additionally there are 25 persons who could not self-quarantine that are presently being housed in a facility provided by the government.
All of the above information has been communicated to the Ministry of Health.
Lastly, I’d like to provide an update on a few other important developments that we wanted to share with the community.
We have received considerable feedback regarding the safeguarding our vulnerable persons.
What I can advise is that the health and wellbeing of all of our residents is of paramount importance to us.
We are working with our helping agency partners to provide as much support as we can.
I can advise that the Salvation Army, Focus and Christ Church, Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity Anglican Church, First Baptist Church, The Eliza Doolittle Society, Meals on Wheels have offered to provide critical services of food distribution and feeding and in some instances, shelter, shower facilities and housing services.
We will share specific times and locations, following this press briefing as we continue to receive updates of support and help from a variety of community agencies.
Specifically as it relates to the Salvation Army, they are providing services for our homeless population, at Harbour Light and the Berkeley Gymnasium.
Additionally Focus Counseling has four beds for those who need assistance.
These organisations will begin accepting individuals as of 7.00 p.m. tomorrow evening.
Also as a special request, the Salvation Army are looking for trained food servers for their evening feeding program at their Citadel located at 10 North Street. Any trained food server who is interested in volunteering their time, please call 296-6740 or 704-7673.
BHB Temporary Transportation:
Tomorrow, the DPT will commence its daily bus service for Bermuda Hospital Board (BHB) employees commuting to and from the King Edward Memorial Hospital.
As a reminder, this temporary schedule, created to support our BHB healthcare workers, will service routes 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 & 11, and operate until the Public Bus Service resumes normal operations. The KEMH Bus Service will be limited to employees displaying BHB ID only.
Bermuda, as you have heard your Government say repeatedly in the last few weeks, this is no time to take these matters lightly. We are singularly focused on preserving the health and safety of all residents.
We will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the people of this Country.
And we are urging everyone to cooperate and do their part to ensure that we limit the spread of this deadly COVID-19 Virus.