Fixed penalty tickets come into force for curfew breaches
Fixed penalties for Covid-19 curfew breakers have come into force – with $500 fines for offenders.
Legislation to allow fixed penalties for breaches of Covid-19 regulations was approved in March, but only came into effect this week.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of National Security said the new ticketing system will be overseen by the Bermuda Police Service and the Ministry of Health.
She added: “The public should note that a police officer or a public health compliance officer can enforce the Covid-19 regulations by exacting fixed penalty tickets to any individual, business or organisation in contravention guidelines.”
Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security, offered condolences to the family and friends the victims.
She said the public had to stick to the rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Ms Ming added: “The fixed penalty ticketing system is an efficient way to enforce critical public health compliance.
“Exempted large group events can expect to be visited as will licensed premises.
“Enforcement officers will use this method to ensure compliance.”
Ms Ming said: “Following all public health measures helps keep us all safe, gives the hospital the opportunity to provide the necessary care and ensures that we can safely live with the coronavirus.”
Fixed penalty tickets for breaches are similar to those used for traffic offences.
People believed to be in breach are asked to sign the ticket and given the summons section, which explains where the fine should be paid be paid.
Chief Inspector Alex Rollin said: “If the penalty is not paid within 28 days, persons will be liable to prosecution for the offence.
“All police officers as well as reserve officers, will be in possession of these tickets when on patrol.
“We continue with our Covid-19 compliance teams that are out nightly, before and during the curfew hours.”
Mr Rollins appealed to the public to give themselves enough time to get home before the 12.30am curfew without having to speed.
Calvin Smith, a former police officer and the Covid-19 compliance officer at the Ministry of Health, was sworn in as a Special Constable to assist with the new tickets.
Ms Ming said people should make the “right and responsible decisions” to protect their friends, family and the public.
She told the public: “If you are in attendance at any establishment or location around the island and see any breaches of the Covid-19 regulations by persons or businesses, please do not hesitate to call 211 to report the violations.”