Feature Photos Courtesy of TNN

The curfew remains in effect from midnight to 5am, but when asked if it will end soon, possibly before Cup Match, Public Works Minister Lieutenant Colonel David Burch replied: “Absolutely!”

Responding to questions by Bermuda Real while speaking at the latest COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, he added: “That is what we are considering and so it will be based on a number of factors – how well we behave – we have been.

“So that influences our considerations but I guess the most significant portion of that is the assessment of the risks from a health perspective.

“And so we will have forceful discussions on that long before we get to Cup Match.”

The Minister also noted that “as indicated last week that it would be reviewed weekly – the recommendation to the full cabinet was that it remain in place and be reviewed next week”.

In the interim however: “Permitted gatherings are set at a maximum of 50 persons unless the organisers have an exemption, and enforcement protocols must be enhanced.

Here’s the requirements that remain in place:

  • Permitted gatherings are set at a maximum of 50 persons
  • Requests for larger gatherings must apply to the Minister of National Security for permission with a plan to include social distancing and masks and other requirements.
  • Masks must be worn indoors. Masks must be worn outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Curfew shifted to midnight to 5 am. – will be reviewed weekly

“With regard to gatherings larger than 50 persons – requests must be made to the Minister of National Security who following the initial assessment by the team in the Ministry – it is referred to the subcommittee,” the Minister added.

“Following the events of this past week – it is clear that a number of things must happen. Firstly, a complete review of the protocols and how they are communicated to event organisers. Enforcement protocols must be enhanced so that the requirements necessary for approval are adhered to – such as:

  • a. Confirmation that rules are actually being enforced
  • b. Spot checks at establishments especially liquor establishments
  • c. Recording of names & Contact information
  • d. Adequate Hand Sanitizer
  • e. Issuing the appropriate sanctions for no compliance

“We are seeing an increase in requests for events with groups larger than 50 of varying types. As such the Cabinet Committee will meet tomorrow morning to discuss and provide greater clarity a to the guidelines,” said Colonel Burch.

“With regard to activities over Cup Match such as camping and use of beaches – we will take these matters up at our regular meeting on Monday.

“We are mindful of our traditions of summer time in Bermuda and especially during this month – where, in my office, I am completely surrounded by those blue & blue people.

“We are also mindful that we are in the middle of a pandemic that we as a country have navigated very well – most of us have followed the rules and the health protocols put in place – and of course the increased testing regime – has resulted in our current state.

“With that – I wish the people of this country to know that that is what has guided and will continue to guide our deliberations and recommendations to the Cabinet.”