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Covid vaccinations opened to residents aged over 16

Residents line up at one of the island’s vaccination centres (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Vaccination against the coronavirus today opened to all residents over the age of 16.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, told the House of Assembly that the Government’s vaccination campaign was “our best chance of moving beyond the pandemic”.

She said the island’s latest outbreak of infections came from social gatherings last month that broke restrictions against the spread of the virus.

She added: “Everybody in Bermuda is now being impacted as a result of the actions of a few irresponsible people.

“Now is not the time to relax our vigilance.”

Unlike similar outbreaks in November and December linked to three events at two venues in one weekend, the surge in new cases was “almost all” linked to a more contagious UK variant of the coronavirus.

Ms Wilson said it was spreading among a “noticeably younger” demographic, and that “more workplaces, more schools and a greater variety of activities are being impacted” as people test positive and their contacts are quarantined.

She said Cabinet had responded by rolling back “earlier relaxations” and imposing restrictions from an 11pm to 5am curfew to reducing gatherings to a maximum of ten.

Bars and clubs are only allowed table service outdoors, and are restricted, along with restaurants, to six people per table.

Masks are required for personal services such as spas and barbers, gyms must keep patrons 10ft apart.

Indoors services and ceremonies are limited to 20 per cent of venue capacity, and outdoor services, including funerals, are limited to 20 people.

Ms Wilson said businesses able to operate with staff working remotely had been recommended to do so.

She added: “Bermuda is in something of a footrace against the coronavirus.

“We must quash the current outbreak, and the new restrictions announced over the weekend will be the circuit breaker we need.”

To read the minister’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published March 22, 2021 at 11:58 am (Updated March 22, 2021 at 11:58 am)

Covid vaccinations opened to residents aged over 16

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