Bermuda has six confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.
One of the additional cases reported over the weekend is a close family contact of a passenger on the British Airways flight BA2233 on March 8. Another arrived on the BA2233 flight on March 17. The two others arrived in Bermuda by a private jet.
Bermuda has so far tested 41 people locally for COVID-19, and is still waiting for the results for 30 of these tests, conducted on March 21-21.
David Burt, Bermuda’s Premier, said more testing kits will be arriving in Bermuda soon, and admitted that increasing the number of tests will reveal more cases of COVID-19 in Bermuda. “The issue is not if there will be more positive results, the issue is how do we handle those,” he said.
Bermuda has also approved a package of unemployment benefits to be provided to Bermudians that are out of work due to the pandemic. It will be for eligible employees not currently on financial assistance and will provide a payment of 60 percent of their gross earnings up to a maximum of $500 per week.
Unemployed persons may be required to conduct administrative tasks that are necessary to stay on top of the fight against COVID-19.
From March 23 all retail stores, cinemas and bars have been closed, while restaurants may only offer take out service. Social distancing will be enforced for all gatherings of more than 10 people, with the Royal Bermuda Regiment and the Bermuda Police Service engaged in enforcing the quarantine of people who arrived in Bermuda since March 17.
Only essential businesses - banks, food suppliers and supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations - are permitted to open. All businesses that continue to operate must adopt Bermuda’s aggressive social distancing guidance.
Bermuda had already closed all schools, tourist accommodation, swimming pools, gyms, beauty salons, spas and barbers. Churches have also been closed, except for funerals. Sports club activities and concerts with more than 50 people have also been suspended.
The self monitoring period for the other passengers on the British Airways flight on March 8 ends on March 23. Those that were on the flight on March 17 must self-monitor until March 31.
Burt reiterated his advice that any Bermudians that have arrived in Bermuda on British Airways flights on March 8 or 17 who are experiencing respiratory symptoms, or are otherwise feeling unwell, should contact their doctor.
He implored Bermudians to take social distancing seriously. “Observing these new rules of how we interact with one another will save lives,” he stressed.
Failure to adhere to mandatory self quarantine will result in a fine of up to $6,000 for a first offense and up to $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or both for a second offense.
David Burt, COVID-19