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Vaccinations pass 5,000 but curfew to continue for two weeks

David Burt: The Premier receives his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

More than 5,000 people had been vaccinated for the coronavirus by last night, the Premier, David Burt, announced.

But the island’s curfew from midnight to 6am is to remain in effect at least a further two weeks.

Speaking at the Covid-19 press conference with Kim Wilson, Minister of Health, Mr Burt praised the number of people who had availed themselves of the vaccine.

Ms Wilson said that as of Saturday, 4,897 people had been given the jab, which confers a 95 per cent immunity against the virus.

Of that number, 57 per cent or 2,774 were women while 2,123 or 43 per cent were men.

People aged 80 or over made up 21 per cent or 1,008 of those who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Thirty-five per cent or 1,741 were aged 65 to 79, 1,108 or 23 per cent were 50 to 64 and 21 per cent or 1,039 were under 50.

More than 13,000 people have registered for a vaccination.

Of that number, 6,717 or 51 per cent are White, 2,261 or 17 per cent are Black, 1,187 or nine per cent are other and 3,062 or 23 per cent have not given a race.

Ms Wilson said the rate of Black registrations was increasing.

The island will “soon” move to Phase 2 of its vaccination schedule.

Ms Wilson cautioned that “the evidence is still out” on how long the jab’s protection against the illness lasts.

She added: “They are researching it as we speak.”

It was also revealed that the location of a third vaccination centre will be announced by the end of the week.

The new centre will allow the Government to ramp up its vaccination target to 800 a day.

Ms Wilson said there were no new cases of the coronavirus recorded yesterday and the number of active cases of Covid-19 has fallen to 11.

Four people are in hospital and seven are under the supervision of the Department of Health. One person recovered over the last 24 hours.

Ms Wilson said an additional three cases are under investigation.

Mr Burt said Cabinet met yesterday and agreed to some relaxations of pandemic-related restrictions, coming into effect on Thursday at 6am.

He said he regretted the decision to extend the curfew, but added: “Let go of the curfew, let go of restrictions, have another outbreak and we’re back to square one.”

He said Cabinet was advised that dropping the curfew would increase the likelihood of social gatherings with alcohol consumed, particularly in private homes, which risked turning into “super spreader events” for the highly contagious virus.

The maximum number of people permitted to sit at a restaurant table is being increased from six to ten.

The number of people able to attend a funeral inside a church will increase from 20 per cent of capacity to 25 per cent.

The maximum for attending outdoor burials is being increased from 25 people to 50.

The curfew on the water has been reduced from 6pm to 8pm and visiting times at rest homes have been relaxed. Visitors now are able to visit relatives and friends outdoors, Mr Burt said.

Government is also increasing the guidance for working from home from “strongly recommended” to “encouraged”.

With enough Pfizer vaccines for another 9,700 people arriving courtesy of the UK Government last Friday, Bermuda has almost enough vaccines in hand to reach the goal of having 36 per cent of the population vaccinated by the end of March.

Also in the news today, Mr Burt has expressed concern about complacency over Covid-19 as cases decline.

Mr Burt added that he had received his second dose of the vaccine, which he said had gone through with no ill effects.

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Published February 03, 2021 at 2:45 pm (Updated February 03, 2021 at 2:45 pm)

Vaccinations pass 5,000 but curfew to continue for two weeks

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