Bermuda’s government prepares for its first virtual session

17-04-2020

Bermuda’s government prepares for its first virtual session

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Bermuda's parliament will meet for the first time in history in a virtual meeting via WebEx, an internet-based video conferencing app, on April 17, as it discusses plans to extend the state of emergency. 

The state of emergency allows Bermuda to continue to impose restrictions on movement even after the shelter in place regime comes to an end, which is expected on May 2.

“The cabinet has resolved that we must make amendments to the laws that will allow any government in the future to implement appropriate measures, in the case of a future public health emergency, such as the one we're experiencing right now, without the need to have to declare a state of emergency,” said David Burt, Bermuda’s Premier. 

On April 16 Bermuda identified two more people with COVID-19 from a total of 35 test results. It has seen no additional hospitalisations or fatalities, meaning Bermuda has had 83 cases of COVID-19, and five deaths from the virus. 

While there is evidence Bermuda’s attempts to flatten the curve are working, Burt noted there will be changes to the existing shelter in place rules. Some additional businesses will be allowed to open, Burt said, but he declined to give further details until they have been finalised by the government. 

Meanwhile, the government has also amended legislation to prohibit staff from working at multiple care home facilities when the chief medical officer determines there is a risk of spreading a communicable disease. The news follows the recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases at a Bermudian care home. 

Burt also denied reports that the government will ban alcohol and tobacco sales, which had been reported locally, leading to a spike in panic buying. 

 

David Burt, COVID-19

Bermuda Re