News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – The public is advised that the Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) convened a meeting earlier today (March 16) to assess the latest health, public services and private sector information and plans regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).
This afternoon’s meeting was co-chaired by Premier David Burt and Minister of National Security Wayne Caines. Minister of Health Kim Wilson, Governor John Rankin, Deputy Governor Alison Crocket and Police Commissioner Steven Corbishley were also in attendance.
Today, Minister Caines received a briefing from EMO members about Government’s and the private sector’s readiness regarding the rapidly globally spreading COVID-19.
As the public is now aware as of midday this afternoon, the Ministry of Health confirmed that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bermuda.
The Ministry also confirmed that the rumors to the contrary currently circulating via social media and throughout the community are false.
Other critical matters emanating from today’s EMO meeting are:
- As a reminder, all Government schools will remain open – although some school activities have been restricted
- All Government offices are currently open
- Earlier today, the Public Health Amendment Act 2020 was passed, which expands the Minister of Health’s powers to take the necessary steps to protect public
- As the public is aware, over the weekend, the Government issued self-quarantining guidance for all arriving passengers. With effect from tomorrow (March 17, 2020)
Individuals arriving in Bermuda will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days and should expect to do so subject to Public Health monitoring. Additionally, all residents are strongly advised to cancel all non-essential travel.
- Arriving air visitors who are staying in hotel or vacation properties are asked to remain in their rooms. Specific health guidance for hotels will be updated and issued
- The Hamilton docks remain operational, with produce and supplies continuing to be imported to the island from key ports.
- Residents are strongly urged to adopt social distancing in an effort to slow down community spread
- Skyport is regularly cleaning and sanitizing the L.F. Wade International Airport as well as ensuring that health advice and guidance is frequently shared over the airport’s audio system for passengers’ reassurance
- The Bermuda College remains open in accordance with the Ministry of Education guidelines
- The Bermuda Police Service, Royal Bermuda Regiment and the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service have assessed and reviewed their emergency protocols and are prepared to provide additional support as needed
As part of the general reminders from the Ministry of Health, the public is encouraged to:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash after use
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. But call first; don’t just show up at your doctor’s office or the hospital
The public is encouraged to only follow established, trusted sources of health information. The Bermuda Government website www.gov.bm/coronavirus and Government Treefrog app, as well as its social media pages are the official sources of Government information.
Minister Caines advised that the next EMO meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 18 to assess the latest local and global developments associated with COVID-19.