Re-opening Economy Update
In early April the Premier appointed a Cabinet Sub Committee of the front line Ministers in this pandemic – Health, Education, National Security and Tourism & Transport and myself to collaborate, coordinate and make recommendations to the full Cabinet on reopening the economy.
The aim is for the committee to review progress on the various phases, receive external submissions, assess them and make recommendations to Cabinet on the way forward. The purpose of the phases is so that planning can occur and the timing of each phase can be either accelerated or slowed depending on the public’s behavior.
To that end I can advise the following changes published today:
The requirement to mandatorily quarantine will cease on Sunday except the approximately 20 remaining persons who will complete their time there at the dedicated facility.
Anyone arriving in Bermuda after 31 May will be allowed to self-quarantine at home for 14 days (as was the case before a Government Quarantine facility was provide) subject to the following conditions:
- Regular Police checks
- Regular Health care visits
The alphabetical requirements for shopping days will be removed for retail, gas stations and hardware stores - but will remain in place for supermarkets.
Sunday shopping will be restricted to seniors & vulnerable persons up to 1pm and then open to essential workers thereafter.
One of the things we have noted already in Phase 2 – particularly in the restaurant sector - is the non-compliance to the social distancing rules while at the same time receiving appeals from the Chamber of Commerce to relax the regulations further. Might I suggest that the Chambers responsibility extends to encouraging their members to adhere to the regulations as well.
Looking forward the Committee is constantly reviewing progress through Phase 2 - with a view to how we might accelerate this phase - as well we expect recommendations from the Minister of Education on the opening of schools and the discussions on the very complicated opening of our borders continue with the Minister of Tourism & Transport. Top of the list is the approach to Summer Camps from the Department of Youth, Sport & Recreation.
Additionally, broad consultation with the players in Phases 3 & 4 will occur before we get to those stages so that the necessary preparations can occur.
Finally, under the authority of section 25(g) of the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986 and section 3 of BNP Regulations 1988, the Minister responsible for Parks has the authority to make regulations the following will be in effect for the Bermuda Day Holiday Friday 29th, Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May 2020.
All beaches, parks and nature reserves will be closed from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am the following morning.
No camping permits will be issued and overnight camping at designated campgrounds, parks, beaches, or nature reserves is not permitted.
There will be NO bonfires allowed at the parks and beaches and no Special / Bonfire Permits will be issued.
This is not punishment – it is protection.
In the main the majority residents have followed the Public Health protocols and we must continue to do so. In the forefront of our minds is the mitigation of risk with directives from health in how we manage this crisis – that is what drives our decisions.