Now that one returning resident decided to go to work before their arrival test result was in, Premier David Burt reiterated and warned again that “it only takes one undetected case” of COVID-19 “to set us back”.

“As a country we have, for the most part, followed the rules, behaved appropriately, and contributed to our success in battling this pandemic. We could not have made it this far without unity, hard work and dedication,” said Mr Burt.

Admittedly, he said: “It has not been easy . . . sheltering in place, curbside shopping, grocery days by last name, curfews, social distancing, face coverings and economic hardship.

“This has taken a tremendous toll on all of us. But as I have said before, collectively as a country Bermuda rose to the occasion, and we have shown ourselves to be an example to the world of how to manage and live with this virus.

“While most of us have done well, by following the guidelines – we must remember that it only takes one undetected case to set us back. So while we have earned the changes that will be announced today – we must remain ever vigilant.

“It is important to note that out of the six imported cases that have arrived in the last 2 weeks since we have opened the airport all of them have been returning residents.

“The story just shared by the Minister of Health is disturbing – as it means that our own don’t care about the impact that their reckless actions may have on ALL of our hard work over the past 4 months. We have been successful because we have not been selfish and have thought of the collective over our own needs. That must continue,” said Mr Burt.

“As the Minister of Health has indicated, the matter has been reported to the Bermuda Police Service for the violations of law. No one wants to punish anyone, but the rules in place must be followed for the safety of our country and for our economy.

“As I have intimated, and as the Minister of Health has also said, due to the fact that we have been faced with returning residents not following the rules, the cabinet will consider revisions to requirements for residents returning to the country and may introduce quarantine requirements for returning residents who do not possess a valid pre-test. We must keep our country safe – and if we do not hear that sadly we may all have to feel,” he added.

“Travelling to the United States is something that, given the situation over there, should not be done for pleasure, but should only be done in urgent situations. We will be revising the guidance to make sure that we minimize the amounts of imported cases which may be coming from returning residents. As the Minister said, the introduction of quarantine bracelets for persons who do not have valid pre-test to ensure that we can enforce the quarantine.

“What I must say, is that is a responsibility of all of us Bermudians to do our job to protect our country. Visitors are coming in, and are following the rules, it is us that are breaking them and putting our country at risk.

“The ending of the curfew represents not just a major landmark in the reopening of our economy, but it also will create more opportunities for employment.

Pre-COVID-19, few Bermudians under 50 had ever experienced a curfew and we had long taken for granted the freedom to move about the country when we want, and how we want. This is something that many of us will welcome but it must not be taken as a license to lose our minds. Simply put, DON’T TEAR IT! We have come too far to go back now!

“Earlier today, I had the pleasure to announce two new appointments to the Cabinet. I would like to thank MP Renee Ming for accepting the role of Minister of National Security and thank MP Neville Tyrrell for taking on the role of Transport.

“Over the years they have demonstrated the commitment, dedication and wisdom that will hold them in good stead as they take over two high profile and key Ministries. I’d like to again thank the former Ministers Wayne Caines and Zane Desilva for the excellent place they left their former Ministries enabling their successors to hit the ground running.

  • Top Feature Photo Courtesy of TNN