Photo Courtesy of TNN

Former Minister of Tourism and Transport, Zane DeSilva stated today that dancing without a mask was a “mistake” and that he had to “pay the price” for his actions last weekend.

Speaking in an interview with Bermuda Broadcasting Company, he also said that he apologised to the Premier, David Burt.

“He expects his minister to set an example and quite frankly I screwed up,” said Mr DeSilva.

But he denied a claim made earlier that the event — footage of which was shared on social media — was a 57th birthday party for his wife, Joanne.

“It was not a party at the Blu – it was a charity dinner and for the most part everybody was sitting down for the majority of the night,” he said.

Mr DeSilva and Wayne Caines, who was the Minister of National Security, stepped down from their Cabinet positions at the request of the Premier after a function the pair attended at the Blu Bar&Grill in Warwick drew heavy public criticism for breaches of COVID-19 health restrictions.

“Where you saw me I came out of the men’s room — when I came out of the men’s room a guy was playing the saxophone and I spent 20 seconds doing a little jig. Big mistake — no mask,” said Mr DeSilva.

“I was on my way out, went to the bathroom, came out, a guy was there, I jigged for a couple of minutes and then I left.

Admittedly, he added: “As a minister of the Government I should know better, should have had my mask on, case closed, no doubt.

“When everyone else stopped to watch the guy play his saxophone, as a minister, I should have said ‘hey look, just keep moving, don’t stop’.

“He was there to serenade people on their way out so that’s my mistake and for that … I have to pay the price for that.

“I put my hand up and I apologised to everybody.

“I apologised to the Premier, to my Cabinet colleagues, to my caucus colleagues, to the people of Bermuda.

“It’s a bad play so, you know, I deserve to be punished.”

And he said he was “not totally shocked” when the Premier asked for his resignation.

Moving forward, he said the Progressive Labour Party Parliamentary group has a “diverse” team with “many options” for someone to take on the tourism portfolio.

“I’m sure that he will make the best choice that he feels Bermuda needs at this time and quite frankly, I’ll be there to assist, because I may not be a Cabinet minister but I will be in the back working just as hard as I always do.”