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Burt defends quarantine rules in face of legal challenge

David Burt the Premier, announcing a return to health restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus in Bermuda(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

An order for unvaccinated travellers to quarantine from next month was defended by David Burt, the Premier, after the threat of a legal challenge was raised last week.

Mr Burt emphasised full details would be given on Thursday, four weeks ahead of the requirement for a 14-day supervised quarantine to be paid for by travellers, to give people time to prepare.

He said the Government was “determined to move Bermuda beyond this pandemic”.

Mr Burt pointed to Trinidad and Tobago, a fellow Caricom country that last week entered “a three-week lockdown due to the importation of the P1 Variant from Brazil”.

“Strong leadership requires decisive action so that our small businesses can re-open and not face the uncertainty of having to close again in the future,” he said.

The Premier spoke after Mark Pettingill, a lawyer and former Attorney-General, called the introduction of quarantine for unvaccinated travellers “incarceration” and said he had clients prepared to launch a constitutional challenge.

Mr Burt countered that students deserved to know their schooling would not continue to be disrupted, and the community would be able to gather again for birthdays, weddings and funerals.

He added: “It’s important for all Bermudians to remember that supervised quarantine has been very effective in many countries that have eliminated local transmission, and their societies have returned to normal holding large events without masks.

“This is what we want for Bermuda, and it is my hope that we as a country unite to do what is necessary to move Bermuda past the pandemic.”

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Published May 03, 2021 at 2:25 pm (Updated May 03, 2021 at 2:25 pm)

Burt defends quarantine rules in face of legal challenge

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