Two companies were commended for stepping up as corporate citizens to help offset the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic and its affect on unemployment as a result of this deadly virus.

Premier David Burt, prefaced his latest update “with some good news” at the news conference on Friday, to publicly acknowledge Chub Bermuda and PwC Bermuda.

He described it as: “News that reassures us that in the midst of this crisis there are many people in private businesses
in our community demonstrating kindness and compassion.

“They are doing things to better our lives,” said Mr Burt.

“I would like to publicly acknowledge the kindness and compassion of one of our good corporate citizens.

“Earlier today April 3) I received an email from Ms Judy Gonsalves, Division President of Chubb Bermuda. Chubb has generously supported the needs of front line essential healthcare services by funding the monthly rental costs for Twizzys, to help essential personnel who do not have transportation to get to and from work.

“They have donated $52,000 to Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust foundation to assist with additional equipment, including ventilators.

“I would also like to recognize the generosity of PwC Bermuda, who earlier this week made a donation of $50,000 to the Bermuda Community Foundation Emergency Fund, and have committed to providing surplus laptops to the Bermuda public school system,” he added.

“Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic. Bermudians have seen their lives, disrupted and changed in ways that we could have never imagined just a few months ago,” said Mr Burt.

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“Social distancing, a concept many of us have never heard before, has now become the new norm in social interaction and many of us have seen jobs and or incomes disappear.”

He also commended a group of local entrepreneurs, in follow up to a call he received two weeks ago, from Mrs Sheila Tyrrell “to suggest that we could help ourselves by producing our own face masks”.

“As a sewer herself, she started this initiative with the intention to provide masks for her family and friends, and later decided to get the Government on board with the idea of having persons, making masks locally,” he said.

“The idea is that this is an open community initiative to get people to be creative and make some really cool masks for their immediate household and friends, and possibly others.

“A team comprising Miss Tyrrell, her daughter Keisha and two Ministry officers, Miss Georgette Trott and Miss Trina Bean had been leading this initiative.

“The message is that we are all in this together and to encourage people of Bermuda to make masks for their friends and families,” Premier Burt said.

“The masks can be made from items already at home, such as old bedsheets pillowcases, t-shirts, as long as they are 100 percent cotton.

“There are some places where they require a mask to be worn by persons outdoors and though the science is emerging in what we would encourage persons if they do have masks and if they are going out shopping during the week that they should look to wear them.

“To be clear, masks will not protect you from contracting or receiving the coronavirus. What mask will do is if you happened to be an asymptomatic spreader, will prevent you from possibly spreading those to other persons. And I think that’s an
important distinction.

“Wearing a mask does not mean that you should not wash your hands, should not means you should not use hand sanitizer.

“You should do it in addition to all the other things of which you are currently doing,” he added.

“There are how to videos online on how to make the mask and we are going to post one to the website, should budding seamstresses wish to try their hand at making them.

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“Also, while doing this research the team discovered that there is a thriving cottage industry in Bermuda already, where several seamstresses have been making and selling masks for weeks.

Examples were on hand at the news conference that Mr Burt described as “very creative and colourful”.

“So far, we have identified four entrepreneurs who have sold hundreds of masks already, and we are sure that there are others who are doing so.

“We are happy to provide their contact details for those who may not have access to a sewing machine or a family member who knows how to use one and those will be posted to the government website,” he said.

“They are Miss Gay Simmons, Qui-Ja Fabrics, Miss Carla Souza at Revive Boutiik, Dr Dena Phillips and Miss Gina Flood at All Things Sassy.”

Moving forward, he added: “Yes, we are entering into a period of Shelter in Place, but I’ll be speaking to the Minister of National Security to figure out how we can make sure that we can get an exemption so that persons may be able to provide these masks at supermarkets, during our Shelter in Place.”

Meanwhile, arrangements continue for residents and US Nationals to be flown home on a chartered Delta Airlines flight scheduled to leave Fort Lauderdale’s Hollywood Internationa Airport bound for Bermuda and scheduled to move on to Atlanta.

Additional information is scheduled for release leading up to the departure date, “however tickets are currently priced at $1,000”.

For more information Pat Trott via email at or call 299-8717.

The Premier reiterated that “there is not any regular scheduled commercial air traffic, out of the airport during the month of April”.

“So if you’re a US citizen who would like to return to the United States, or if you are a Bermuda resident who is looking to return home, then please take advantage of this flight,” he said.

“As a reminder, you will be required to be in a government quarantine facility for 14 days upon arrival. And we have been informed that Delta Airlines will not let anyone board the flight who is exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus.”