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DPP receives Covid breach files

Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Prosecutors have received more than 20 files about Covid-19 breaches for review, it was revealed today.

Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security, said the Bermuda Police Service submitted 12 files to the Department of Prosecution yesterday.

She added: “To date, the DPP has received 22 files in total for curfew violations and non-compliance to the Covid-19 regulations, and more continue to be submitted regularly.”

Ms Ming told the House of Assembly the public should be concerned by the most recent increase in cases and local transmission of the virus.

She added that recent breaches of the Covid-19 regulations were similarly worrisome.

Ms Ming said: “Through traditional news media and social media, many of us have seen the evidence of parties and gatherings that exceed the approved group gathering limits.

“The fact that the attendees of these events also violated the health and safety protocols by not wearing masks or practising physical distancing further compounds the recklessness of hosting these events.”

She said added that she understood the public’s frustration about the perceived lack of action against those who have broken the rules, but added that those responsible would be held accountable.

Ms Ming reminded the public that the midnight to 5am curfew remains in effect, boating is not allowed between 8pm and 5am, and bars and nightclubs must limit business to table service and shut their door before 11pm.

Large group gatherings remain limited to 25 persons, and limitations for attendance at churches and religious ceremonies remain in place.

Ms Ming said: “These regulations are not meant to be punitive. They have been enacted to minimize the impact of Covid-19 with the hope that we will soon be able to safely gather together again.

“Notwithstanding, the Government has included penalties as a deterrent against violating the regulations.”

She said legislation to introduced fixed penalties for Covid-19 breaches is still being drafted and, while the legislation would not likely be retroactive, those linked with recent breaches can still be subject to a fine and conviction.

Ms Ming added the Ministry had received a number of large gathering requests for the upcoming Good Friday holiday.

She said: “Please note that a careful review will be done before there can be an approval of any event.

“During the Good Friday/ Easter Holiday and any other holiday especially, I am urging residents to exercise a degree of personal responsibility by making smart and sensible decisions to protect themselves and their family, friends and loved ones.

“We all must continue to do what we can to mitigate and limit the spread of the virus by complying with the policy in place.”

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Published March 19, 2021 at 1:12 pm (Updated March 19, 2021 at 1:12 pm)

DPP receives Covid breach files

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