Based on the latest forecast, the effects of Hurricane Teddy “is expected to be similar” to what Bermuda experiences during “a winter gale storm”.

But now that “we are in hurricane mode”, National Security Minister Renée Ming said today the Government “made some safety decisions”  that are “important in order to protect our community”.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all public schools will be closed on Monday, September 21.

“School staff, including teachers will be expected to work from home,” said Ms Ming.

“Principals and custodians will conduct an assessment of schools during the day as instructed by the Commissioner of Education. All other staff are asked to refrain from entering school buildings on Monday to enable any post storm cleanup and works to take place. Public schools will reopen on Tuesday, September 22nd.

“All Government buildings will be closed on Monday, reopening on Tuesday. However, Public Officers are expected to work remotely from home on Monday.

“The bus service will operate on Sunday, with the last bus being at 9pm. There will be no bus service on Monday. The ferry service will finish at noon tomorrow and resume commuter service on Tuesday, September 22,” she added.

“The Causeway will remain open. The LF Wade International Airport will remain open, and the requisite staff will be on hand at the airport to conduct customs and immigration clearance. Additionally the Department of Health team will also be on hand to conduct COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers at the airport. Also the Call Center and the MDL Lab at the Southside testing facility will be open. However the Perot testing facility will be closed.”

The Minister noted that all partner agencies have reported that they are ready and prepared.

The EMO also “determined that there isn’t a need to open the Government shelter and therefore CedarBridge will not be utilized for this storm”.

“The EMO Operations group will be on duty at the Hamilton Fire Station from 7.30 am until 7pm on Monday, September 21.

“If there is anyone who needs to report any storm related damages, they can call 261-4366 or (261-4EMO). This phone will be staffed from 8am – 7pm. The public should be encouraged to call in if they are in need of assistance with downed trees or power lines so that our road and debris clearance crews can attend.”

Once the storm passes work crews from the Department of Parks, the Royal Bermuda Regiment and Ministry of Public Works will do an assessment of the roads and clear any debris.

“We are asking the public to be mindful of these necessary works and to please if you can, avoid travelling the roads so that our teams can conduct their necessary works,” she added.

In closing, the Minister issued a reminder that “we’re still in the midst of a pandemic”.

On that note, she appealed to residents “to exercise caution and common sense and please remember to engage in the right health and safety activities during this time”.

The EMO will meet again tomorrow and following that meeting to provide another public update.