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Covid-19 vigilance needed, despite end to curfew

Steve Cosham, the National Disaster Coordinator, Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security, and Leroy Bean, the Gang Violence Reduction Taskforce coordinator (Photograph supplied)

The Minister of National Security yesterday warned that the public must stay vigilant to limit the spread of Covid-19 despite the end of the midnight curfew.

Renee Ming said: “While the curfew has ended, the pandemic hasn’t and there is still need for our residents to exercise caution to protect themselves, their families, their loved ones and their friends.”

She said the 8pm curfew for recreational boating and the 25 people limit on large group gatherings remained in force

Indoor religious ceremonies are limited to 25 per cent of normal occupancy and outdoor ceremonies can include no more than 50 people.

The ministry has continued the ban on large group exemption applications for wakes, wedding receptions, birthday parties or similar events, but the policy will be reviewed on March 9.

Ms Ming said the Ministry would consider applications for large-scale sport events such as road races only when phase 4 of the return-to-play guidance had been implemented.

She added the ministry was also working with the Department of Health, the Department of Marine & Ports, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and others to develop rules for the safe return of cruise ships.

Ms Ming added that the emergency broadcast service on 100.1FM will be moved to the Prospect radio tower, which will take the station out of service for two weeks from the end of this month.

She also highlighted the work of the Gang Violence Reduction Taskforce to tackle antisocial behaviour in the community.

Ms Ming said: “While the work of the GVRT is mostly done behind the scenes, the impact that they have on the lives of our young people, families and neighbourhoods is unquantifiable.

“What has been evident is that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant socio-economic challenges for a large portion of our community.

“What we’ve come to understand is that social and financial instability leads to stress and added tension and added tensions can often lead to antisocial behaviour and violence.”

Ms Ming added that the GVRT will work with partners to launch a series of pilot programmes designed to help young people.

She said: “These include initiatives that focus on anger management, cognitive therapy, mood therapy, behavioural therapy and parenting classes.”

Ms Ming added that the GVRT’s redemption programme – designed to create job placements and give vocational skills training to at-risk people – had hoped to have 13 trainees, but the pandemic had caused several partner groups to downsize.

She said eight people were enrolled in the latest class.

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Published February 23, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated February 22, 2021 at 6:40 pm)

Covid-19 vigilance needed, despite end to curfew

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