Another charter flight is due to arrive in Bermuda later today from Florida, with residents who were unable to get back home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Family members and friends were urged “not to go to the airport” to greet them, “as this is not a permitted business”.
Premier David Burt made a direct appeal to relatives and friends of the passengers due to arrive at the news conference held on Monday.
“Anyone that is going to the airport to see family and friends is in violation of the Shelter in Place order and may be detained by the Bermuda Police Service.
“It is encouraged that you communicate with your family and friends who may have returned today (Monday) or the ones that are returning tomorrow (Tuesday) by social media, cell phone and other electronic methods but they will not be allowed to visit.
“Likewise, those who are in quarantine are not permitted to leave their rooms,” he added.
“The Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment working with the Ministry of National Security will ensure that strict quarantine guidelines are maintained.
Returning Bermudian residents who registered with the London Office and were unable to get on Monday’s flight, were advised: “Kimberley Durrant and the London Office are working with Government House and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the possibility of putting on another flight for returning residents in the coming weeks.
“That flight may provide opportunities for those residents who wish to leave Bermuda for the UK to buy a seat on the return flight.
“A crisis like this can bring out the best in everyone. It can also put people in unprecedented and unfamiliar positions where they need help,” said Mr Burt.
“I wish to pay tribute to the generosity of all of the corporations and individuals who have stepped up to support the delivery of essential services to the most vulnerable in our community.
“Donations and pledges have topped $400,000 from over 50 companies and individuals to the Emergency Fund set up for this purpose.
“Allocations from the fund are anticipated to surpass this amount, as of yesterday.
“We hope the public will continue to give as the needs are great and are expected to grow.
“Last week, $140,000 in emergency funds were distributed to ten organisations,” he said.
“An additional $311,000 will be deployed based on yesterday’s assessment of essential services and needs.
“This money is being spent in areas critical to helping us manage this pandemic based on international standards for national disasters, and in tandem with the priorities of the Emergency Measures Organisation and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation team.
“We have to make sure that our most vulnerable people are fed, our homeless are sheltered, women and children who are at-risk, are housed safely.
“We have to ensure that people who need medication have access to it and those who find themselves struggling to cope, know
where they can get help.”
How the Money Will Be Used:
•Groups like Salvation Army, Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance, who were active before this crisis, continue to provide the most essential of support to our community and they deserve our thanks.
•Fourteen food distribution services are going to receive almost $100,00 in help to distribute meals, groceries and vouchers to the people who needed these services before this crisis and people who are now finding themselves needing help.
•Almost $80,000 in support from the emergency fund has been allocated to 21 nursing homes, helping them to get phone and wi-fi connectivity. This will allow the hard-working care staff to deliver health services to seniors in the nursing homes and allow those resident to stay in contact safely and securely, with family members.
•Groups that are providing shelter and a range of services for people who have substance abuse conditions will receive more than $100,000 to continue their services.
•The Ageing and Disabilities Team, Bermuda Health Council, Age Concern Bermuda, Vision Bermuda and the Bermuda Housing Trust and dedicated volunteers are working hard to ensure that seniors in nursing homes and in private residences are getting their needs met.
“We are also grateful for the roles that family members play in supporting seniors to stay safely in their homes,” said Mr Burt.
•On behalf of these and other groups who support seniors, I must also remind you that our seniors are the most vulnerable to this COVID-19 virus. If you are taking care of an elderly family member, please take all necessary precautions before helping them.
“Thank you to the numerous volunteers who have kept these critical services going,” he added.
“You can learn more about the essential services that are supporting this community, online on the government
website – coronavirus.gov.bm.
“Last, but not least, I would like to acknowledge the collective behind-the-scenes work of the Third Sector Coordinated Crisis Response Effort – comprising the following partnering organizations and individuals, with support of even more people too numerous to mention here.”
•Bank of Bermuda Foundation
•Bermuda Community Foundation
•Bermuda Health Council
•Inter-Agency Committee for Children and Families
•Age Concern Bermuda
•And dedicated individuals who aren’t affiliated with any organizations but stepped forward
to give of their time to make a difference for Bermuda.
Moving forward, Mr Burt said: “We ask that you please keep contributing to the Emergency Fund at www.bcf.bm to help ensure Bermuda’s most vulnerable people are safe, secure and continue to be provided for.”