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Covid-19: curfew to end, 13,000 vaccines administered

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

The Covid-19 curfew will end tomorrow morning, the Premier revealed last night.

David Burt also announced that licensed premises will be allowed to stay open until midnight and other businesses will no longer have to close at 11pm.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, added that more than 13,000 people had been given at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Ms Wilson said 13,155 had been given the vaccine by yesterday, up from 12,568 last Friday.

Women made up 56 per cent of the Friday total and 44 per cent were men.

Ms Wilson added 15 per cent of the population had now received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine and four per cent had completed the two-shot course.

She said 3,467 doses were delivered last week and that this number had steadily increased over the five weeks of vaccine administration.

Of the 1,834 people in the group who had received vaccines, 574 had received both doses.

Of people in Phase 1B who are over 65 or have a serious underlying condition, 4,161 or 44 per cent have had at least one dose of the vaccine and of that group 568 are fully immunised.

She said Bermuda was now moving to Phase 2, which is for people over the age of 50 or who have an underlying condition such as heart disease.

Ms Wilson revealed that a total of 17,605 people had registered interest in having the vaccine.

A total of 49 per cent were white, 21 per cent were black, 20 per cent did not give a race and ten per cent were “other” or mixed race .

She said people who were fully immunised and travelling to Bermuda would be able to attend meetings, play close contact sports and visit restaurants.

Ms Wilson added that no new positive Covid-19 cases were recorded in Bermuda today and the island continued to have four active cases - the lowest since October 7.

Ms Wilson said three people were being monitored by public health officials and one was in hospital.

Ayoola Oyinloye, the chief medical officer, said that he had been in contact with the US Centres for Disease Control to question Bermuda’s status as a high risk destination.

Dr Oyinloye added that Bermuda should be at a lower level on the basis of the number of infections that came in from overseas over the last 28 days.

He added Bermuda remained in seventh place for administration of vaccines per head and was fifth in the world for tests per head.

Ms Wilson also reminded people that if they needed a coronavirus test for overseas travel, they should book it at any test centre, apart from the Perot Post Office in Hamilton, at least two days before intended travel.

Mr Burt said all other restrictions, including reduced numbers in restaurants and churches, would remain in force.

He added that saliva testing of athletes would begin this week as sports organisations entered a third phase of training.

He said the men’s national football team would be tested tomorrow and Friday.

Domestic league teams will be tested next week.

Volleyball players will be tested on Saturday and Sunday and Mr Burt appealed to other contact sports players over the age of 11 to get registered as soon as possible.

Mr Burt said phase 4 competitive sports would have “to wait a bit longer”.

The Premier added: “Contact sports can however be a high risk setting when it comes to Covid transmission.”

He encouraged all close contact sport athletes aged 11 years or older wishing to participate in stage three training to register for a saliva Covid testing as soon as possible.

Mr Burt said that the Bermuda Tourism Authority is looking to capture more sports tourism and wedding business in Bermuda. He said a taskforce had been set up to streamline the process for large event approvals for both our local entrepreneurs and tourism personnel wanting to host events in Bermuda.

The taskforce includes representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Security, the BTA and the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.

Mr Burt highlighted the importance of economic recovery. He said: “This government continues work domestically to ensure that our economic recovery plans are executed so that we can improve the everyday lives of Bermudians and we will continue to execute on our plans to stimulate the domestic economy.”

He announced that phase one of the Ministry of Public Works’ Economic Stimulus Programme attracted more than 100 applicants.

The programme offers small- and medium-sized contractors the opportunity to participate in infrastructure construction projects.

“The ministry estimates that these projects will provide work for 243 Bermudians,” he said.

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Published February 17, 2021 at 9:35 am (Updated February 17, 2021 at 9:35 am)

Covid-19: curfew to end, 13,000 vaccines administered

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