The following Op-Ed was released on Monday, July 5, 2021, by Opposition Leader Cole Simons…
The PLP Government needs to stop playing political games with the quarantine rules. By waiting until moments before the Motion To Adjourn during the last Parliamentary session to table new rules, is nothing short of duplicitous. This means the debate on the new rules will be delayed yet again, and not until after the legal challenge in the courts on Wednesday.
This was the PLP’s second Parliamentary delay pertaining to their paid quarantine restrictions. At the previous sitting, the Government failed to table their rules in Parliament, even though the rules then came into effect that same weekend.
Before that, the PLP had twice pushed back the start date for the paid quarantine restrictions.
The rules have been extremely controversial, and a number of residents are fed up with Premier David Burt—the crowd of several hundred protesters booing him last week spoke volumes.
This is the second time the Premier has ducked a Parliamentary debate over his new mandatory quarantine rules.
Two weeks ago, several of his own MPs broke rank to criticise his heavy-handed travel and quarantine policies. Very few PLP MPs actually spoke in support.
Now it appears that the Premier is doing whatever he can to push the debate until after the Supreme Court hears the case on the constitutionality of the rules.
It’s as if the Premier knows he’s wrong, but is waiting for someone else to come along and solve the problems he has created.
Premier Burt should drop the paid mandatory quarantine and allow Bermudians to isolate in their own homes. Why can’t the Government invest in a monitoring app or bracelet, which has been introduced in Barbados and the Cayman Islands?
It is shocking to see that despite the delays in implementing the new regulations, the PLP continues to struggle to get it right. There have been so many inconsistencies and errors which have led to the frustration of the travelling public and they must come to an end. A viable solution must be found which balances public wellness with the economy and this is not it.