Full details on Phase 4 will be shared at the next COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, now that the recommendations coming out of the Cabinet Committee held on Monday, on the reopening of Bermuda’s economy will be discussed in Cabinet on Tuesday.
According to Premier David Burt: “At this time we are still on track for Phase 4 to commence at the expiration of the state of emergency, next week Wednesday.”
Speaking at the Government briefing on Monday, he acknowledged the concerns regarding “the reopening or our borders, especially with the news that other countries do not have rigorous controls in place that we have established in Bermuda”.
“The reopening of LF Wade International Airport is a critical part of getting Bermudians back to work,” he said.
“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.
“I know that many Bermudians are concerned about the reopening of our borders…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.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
Also on hand to “provide an update on the procedures being put in place at the airport for the benefit and safety of all”, was Aaron Adderley, President of Skyport.
The Premier also stated that it was certainly great to hear from the Minister of Health “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,” said Mr Burt.
He also noted 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.”