Premier David Burt declined to comment on the constitutional case bound for the Supreme Court today, seeking an injunction against the mandatory 14-day quarantine set to go into effect on Sunday for non-vaccinated passengers.
The legal challenge, on constitutional grounds is being led by the pressure group Constitutional Freedom Bermuda (CFB).
At the centre of it all is that non-vaccinated residents will have to quarantine for 14 days, at a Government-approved hotel at their own expense as opposed to staying in their own homes.
Speaking at the latest COVID-19 briefing last night, Mr Burt said: “On the issue of mandatory supervised quarantine, that is now a matter that is before the courts and therefore the Government cannot comment any further.”
He was speaking live from Miami, where he is “leading a delegation from Bermuda Business Development Agency” meeting with “business and government leaders to build upon the strong economic relationship between Bermuda and Florida as well as the United States as a whole – and continuing the work to diversify our economy which is essential for our future economic prosperity”.
A big part of that plan is “community protection along with strong protections at our borders will help to protect us from dangerous variants that continue to emerge around the world”, said Mr Burt.
“Many will have seen recent news from Vietnam where a variant that combines the UK and Indian variants has been discovered. While the Indian variant continues to spread in the U.K and is expected to become the dominant variant there ,if this spread continues.
“Community protection, along with eliminating local transmission will also allow us to see the end of all restrictions.
“In my National Address in April, I outlined that should we reach those goals and in conjunction with strong protections at our borders, we could allow the Public Health Emergency to expire on June 24,” he added.
“However, there is still work to be done, and tomorrow (Friday, June 4) in the House of Assembly, the Minister of Health will lay a motion to extend the Public Health Emergency by a further 60 days from June 24. This motion is scheduled to be debated in the House of Assembly on June 18.”
Moving forward, he said: “It is the Government’s current plan, if our trajectory of low case numbers are maintained, to keep the Phase 3 restrictions that were announced on Tuesday and that will come into effect on Sunday, in place until June 24. Following June 24, at that time almost all restrictions will fall away with the exception of restrictions on large groups and the continued requirements for mask-wearing in indoor public places.”
There will be debate on the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan in the Lower House today.
“The Government has a robust economic recovery plan which covers issues as diverse as the Bermuda Digital Bank, the provision of more affordable housing, and reducing the price of food,” said Premier Burt.
“I urge all to tune in to learn more about Bermuda’s Economic Recovery Plan and listen to the Ministers of the Government speak about important issues like Universal Healthcare and ensuring that we can upgrade the skills of Bermudians for jobs of the future.
“While we are progressing, we also recognise that there are still difficult issues to tackle as a country and as a Government. However, the people of Bermuda can take confidence from this Government’s continued commitment and success in upholding our promises.”