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Anchor’s up: curfew-busting boat rumour dismissed

A complaint about a boat trip alleged to have involved members of the Government and a breach of curfew rules was “unfounded”, police said last night.

The Government insisted earlier that the private event “began and ended” in line with the law in place at the time.

David Burt, the Premier, wrote on Twitter last night: “I've spent one hour of time dealing with a completely unfounded rumour of Cabinet ministers on boat breaking curfew. That gossip is categorically false.”

A Bermuda Police Service spokesman said: “Following a report made in regards to a boat trip on the evening of July 11, which allegedly involved government members and breached the conditions of curfew under Covid-19 regulations, the BPS have looked into this today and consider the matter to be unfounded.”

A government spokeswoman said yesterday: “The Government of Bermuda is not briefed or advised on ongoing police investigations. The private event to which this inquiry refers began and ended in accordance with the law in force on July 12.”

The comments came after police confirmed yesterday morning that officers had launched an investigation into “an allegation that parties from Government arrived back from a marine trip at just before 2am on the morning of July 12, after the regulated curfew hours”.

A spokesman added: “The matter has additionally been reported to the Ministry for Health.”

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said later: “As with all Covid breaches we will seek to establish the facts.

“I think it's right not to judge the incident until we actually know what took place.”

The Public Health (Covid-19 Emergency Powers) Regulations 2020, which took effect on June 30, said that curfew meant that no one should “be away from his home during the hours of midnight to 5am, except for a medical or other emergency”.

The regulations added that boats could not be used for recreational purposes after 11pm.

Amended regulations came into effect on July 14, which meant that “notwithstanding” the rules about recreational boating and the curfew, people could stay on a boat that was not their home after 11pm as long as the vessel was “berthed, anchored or moored in place” between 11pm and 5am.

The rules added that anyone staying on a boat would not be allowed to leave it between midnight and 5am unless there was an emergency.

Curfew hours were lifted from yesterday.

Twitter post: David Burt, the Premier (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published July 21, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated July 21, 2020 at 9:05 am)

Anchor’s up: curfew-busting boat rumour dismissed

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