The following statement was released today by Opposition Leader Cole Simons & the One Bermuda Alliance…
Stringent restrictions taking effect on Sunday were not brought before Parliament on Friday, denying debate over the new mandatory quarantine rules.
The Government bypassed the House of Assembly and instead posted online their plans to force unvaccinated Bermudians to undertake quarantine in government facilities when returning to the Island.
PLP plans also require unvaccinated travellers returning to Bermuda to pay to quarantine in government facilities, rather than isolating at home.
During Friday’s Motion to Adjourn, OBA Shadow Attorney General Scott Pearman questioned why the Government had not tabled the rules for Sunday’s mandatory quarantine: “Where are the regulations? This is Bermuda’s Parliament. Why were no regulations brought to Bermuda’s Honourable House today, in advance of Sunday, so that democracy can flourish, and a debate could be had about them?”
OBA Shadow Tourism Minister Craig Cannonier asked: “How can this Government announce their plans for mandatory quarantine many weeks ago, then twice delay the start date, and still not have the rules ready for Parliament to debate before the rules came into effect today?
“To make matters worse, in the House on Friday, the Government couldn’t even produce their amendments to the Health bill that was being debated. We were debating amendments without the amendments. Total incompetence. Unbelievable.”
Opposition Leader Cole Simons stated: “The Premier must explain why he bypassed Parliament to implement the new quarantine rules without any proper debate? Yes, the PLP commands a large majority in Parliament, but when the Government decides to restrict people’s civil liberties in this stringent way, we need a proper debate.
“The Government cannot just make the laws on its own. Parliament makes our laws. The Premier cannot bypass Parliament and govern by press releases.”