National Security Minister Renée Ming paused “to condemn Sunday night’s shooting incident which left two men being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds”, in the lead up to the 2021 Cup Match holiday.

Speaking at the latest COVID briefing last night, the Minister said: “Now as we prepare to celebrate our Emancipation, Mary Prince and Cup Match holiday, the Ministry of National Security is keeping a close eye on public safety matters.”

While providing “a general overview of the preparations underway for the holiday”, she added: “I wish to pause to condemn Sunday night’s shooting incident which left two men being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds.

“This was very distressing, particularly following such a successful community event held earlier that day – with the Court Street Market.

“This matter is still under investigation, and we are urging anyone with any information to please contact the Police and share what they know about this incident.

“Without question, we are expecting this will be a very busy and active holiday weekend.

“In addition to celebrating the return of the Annual Cricket Classic, it’s our expectation that many of our residents will be heading to our beaches and parks and spending considerable time on the water over the long holiday weekend.”

On that note, she said: “The Bermuda Police Service’s Joint Agency Command Committee has developed a robust policing plan in order to maintain public safety.

“We want to ensure a safe and peaceful holiday and the BPS is working in partnership with the Royal Bermuda Regiment, the Coastguard, the Department of Parks and other agencies to ensure compliance on land and at sea.

“With the expectation of large crowds at our beaches and parks, the BPS and the RBR will have a visible presence at our popular beaches such as Horseshoe Bay Beach and Clearwater beach.

“I understand that many may people will be out on the water celebrating however, I urge the boating public to be considerate to other boat operators and houses nearby when playing music, especially late at night.

“And there will be a visible presence at the St George’s Cricket Club for the two days of Cup Match. So we are encouraging persons to please practice the appropriate health and safety measures,” she added.

“We are also urging the public to use common sense when it comes to alcohol consumption over the holiday period.

“As you are aware, the BPS will be conducting Road Side Sobriety checks throughout the island over the holiday weekend.

“So quite simply – don’t drink and drive, and above all, have a plan to get home safely.

“As it relates to recreational boating over the holiday, the BPS and the Coastguard will be present on our waters to ensure that the marine environment is as safe as possible.

“Lastly, typically our Cup Match holiday is a festive period.

Even against the backdrop of COVID-19, we expect that members of the community will seek to enjoy this national holiday to the fullest. Please remember that according to the Public Health Regulations, gatherings must not exceed 50 people, unless a large group exemption has been granted by the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport.”

Updating the public on the Government Approved Quarantine Facilities, Ms Ming said: “To date there have been 162 persons who have been released from quarantine, and currently there are 56 in the facility. These measures are in place at our borders to mitigate any further spread of the dangerous COVID-19 virus.

“Bermuda, I ask you all you please work together to make sure that the 2021 Cup Match, Emancipation Day and Mary Prince Day holiday can be remembered for the many enjoyable experiences – and not be marred by any major disturbances, road traffic incidents or infringements of the COVID-19 regulations.

“All of public safety precautions that are in place by the Bermuda Police Service, and its partner agencies, are designed to ensure that any festivities remain safe and free of anti-social behaviour.”

In closing, she said: “As the Minister responsible for National Security, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of our enforcement and emergency agencies for their tireless work. I wish both teams a safe and eventful game, and may St. George’s win!

“Thank you and Happy Cup Match.”