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More than 100 people take part in Covid car rally protest

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Protestors against Covid regulations line up alongside Bernard’s Park
Bermuda Freedom Car and Bike Rally (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

More than 100 people yesterday took part in a second car rally protesting against the Government’s Covid-19 regulations.

Bermuda Freedom Car and Bike Rally (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Cars and bikes gathered outside Bernard Park for the start of the rally, which was significantly smaller than the first protest two weeks ago.

Bermuda Freedom Car and Bike Rally (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Janine Richardson, speaking on behalf of organisers the Bermuda Freedom Alliance, said the group represented a broad cross-section of residents who were upset about the Government’s quarantine proposal which, she said, treated vaccinated and unvaccinated people differently.

The measures, expected to come into effect next month, would require unvaccinated residents returning to the island to quarantine for two weeks at one of three hotels, at their own cost.

Ms Richardson said: “We are reminded during every press conference that the decision to take the shot is a personal choice, however we feel that Government contradicts the opinion given with arbitrary and tyrannical restrictions demanded of those who do not support or comply with this request.

“We would like to request that all Bermudians be treated equally and fairly, including those who do not choose to receive this injection, and we strongly resist being punished with the radical methods indirectly used to enforce the jab.”

She added that while the group appreciated the efforts taken by the Government to keep the borders safe, they felt the actions taken were “too extreme”.

Ms Richardson said that those involved with the rally had a range of overlapping concerns and matters are going to court both locally and overseas over Covid-19 regulations.

The rally was originally scheduled to start at Victor Scott Primary School, but the location was moved to Dellwood Middle School to keep it away from the mobile vaccination centre held at the school.

However vehicles were forced to gather on Dutton Avenue, outside Bernard Park, when organisers discovered the school property was chained shut.

Some protestors suggested the closure of the school grounds was intended to discourage the protest.

Ms Richardson said: “We had an excellent turnout at the first car rally and the support since then has been phenomenal.

“People have been offering their assistance and also reaching out for assistance.”

More than 40 vehicles took part in the demonstration - several with signs decrying the Government’s approach to the regulations.

The vehicles circled the island, joined by a police escort.

To view a photo gallery of the event, click here.

Premier visits mobile vaccination centre

More than 131 people received their first Covid-19 vaccine at Victor Scott Primary School today as part of the Close to Home mobile vaccination programme.

A Government spokeswoman said 143 received a shot at the school, including 12 people receiving their second shot.

David Burt, the Premier, visited the mobile vaccination centre to encourage those receiving the shot and thank the healthcare workers at the site.

Mr Burt said: "We've pledged to make it simple and easy for our residents to get vaccinated, and we're very pleased that the community is taking advantage of our Close To Home mobile vaccination programme.

“What's becoming clear is that this method of getting vaccinated is proving to be very popular with our community, so we're extremely encouraged by its success.”

Since the Close to Home programme launched on April 27, 1,012 vaccine shots have been administered, with about 90 per cent being first doses.

This week the mobile vaccination programme will continue this week with shots delivered at Penno’s Wharf, St George’s on Tuesday, the Southampton Princess on Thursday and the Transport Control Department on Saturday.

The vaccination sites will be open between 10am to 2pm for who wish to get their first dose or their second vaccine shot, following their first dose three weeks ago.

Additionally, a minibus service is available to take people from their homes to the mobile vaccination sites and back to their homes afterwards.

Those who want to take part in the minibus service should call 533-5903 between 10am and 1.30pm.

Mr Burt urged the public to follow public health guidelines, download the WeHealth Bermuda App and talk to their doctors about the Covid-19 vaccine.

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Published May 17, 2021 at 8:06 am (Updated May 17, 2021 at 8:06 am)

More than 100 people take part in Covid car rally protest

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