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Countdown to end of Covid-19 rules to be announced today – SafeKey to go first

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The health minister will today announce the timetable for the end of most Covid-19 restrictions, The Royal Gazette understands.

But Kim Wilson is expected to reveal that the disliked SafeKey rules for indoor drinking and dining in bars and restaurants are scheduled for an immediate axe as part of the two-week review of coronavirus restrictions.

Ms Wilson is likely to reveal the changes as she tells the House of Assembly that two years of hardship to protect public health is drawing to a close.

The good news is expected to be delivered as Ms Wilson’s statement to MPs on “Living with Covid – The Public Health Emergency” at the first sitting of the House this year.

The One Bermuda Alliance earlier called for restrictions such as the SafeKey scheme to be abandoned.

MPs are also expected to discuss gang crime, gambling and pensions as part of the agenda for the House.

Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, will address the House on the 2020 actuarial review of the contributory pension fund.

Legislation to be debated includes the Proceeds of Crime Amendment Act 2021 and the OBA will demand answers from ministers on what they are doing to crack down on gangs after a spate of gun violence over the last year.

The Matrimonial Causes (Faultless Divorce) Amendment Act 2022 will also be tabled.

David Burt, the Premier, also the tourism minister, will table the “Gaming (Designated Site) Order 2022”, which is expected to focus on the creation of the island’s first casino.

The OBA has signalled that it planned to use the sitting to quiz Renée Ming, the national security minister, on her proposals to tackle gang violence.

Ms Ming is scheduled to discuss gang violence in a statement to the House.

Jarion Richardson, the opposition Whip and shadow Cabinet Office minister, is scheduled to ask about the plan for cutting gang recruitment and Ms Ming’s estimate of how many gang members there are at present.

Cole Simons, the opposition leader (File photograph)

Cole Simons, the Leader of the Opposition and shadow finance minister, will ask the Government for the amount in taxes and fees received in the past year.

He will also ask for more information on plans to tackle unfunded liability in the Public Service Superannuation Fund and the Government Health Insurance Funds.

Mr Simons will also ask if unfunded pension liabilities had been included in the total government debt.

Susan Jackson, the shadow transport minister, has tabled questions asking the Government to list airline routes that service Bermuda and the cost of minimum revenue guarantees to carriers between 2019 and 2020.

She will also ask ministers to provide a list of maintenance for and acquisitions of pilot, tug and ferry boats between April 2019 and March 2021.

Ms Jackson will also request Transport Control Department “licensing and permit revenue collected under public service vehicle, listed by company and vehicle quantity and type from January 2019 – January 2022”.

Mr Burt will brief MPs on plans for the hospitality industry’s recovery in 2022.

He will also give notice of a motion “that this Honourable House take note of the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Historic Land Losses in Bermuda laid for the information of the House of Assembly” on December 10 last year.

Other ministerial statements will include a summary of the plan for the introduction of electric buses and air and sea arrival forecasts for the year ahead.

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Published February 04, 2022 at 11:03 am (Updated February 04, 2022 at 11:03 am)

Countdown to end of Covid-19 rules to be announced today – SafeKey to go first

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