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Government says Covid-19 restrictions are vital

Bermuda Police Service (File photo)

A Christmas curfew is a vital restriction designed to protect life, the acting Premier said last night.

Diallo Rabain said: “We also acted early to protect the lives of all Bermudians, especially those who are vulnerable.”

He added: “We cannot again have our hospital forced to use refrigerated containers for our deceased or be one admission away from having to decide who gets life-saving care and who doesn’t.

“These restrictions provide us the fighting restrictions to avoid that.”

Mr Rabain said the curfew, announced on Tuesday, was part of a wider strategy used during previous surges of Covid-19 that was “proven and effective”.

He added it would help tackle the Omicron variant’s “rapid increase in positive cases in Bermuda”.

He said the island’s fourth wave, driven by the Delta variant, had pushed the death toll from the virus to 106 and stretched the hospital “almost to breaking point”.

But Mr Rabain said: “The restrictions put in place then, including a curfew, allowed us to claw back from that brink and bring the level of infections to a manageable rate.”

He added that a safe reopening school in two weeks would keep parents from losing more time at work.

“The restrictions are temporary, but they require us all to play our part.

“They cannot be effective without co-operation and a level of personal responsibility from all Bermudians.

“While many are focusing on the four and a half hours that we cannot be out, we must also be mindful of our actions during the nineteen and a half hours that we can be.”

Calls for a curfew-breaking motorcade at 12.31am today had been posted on social media. It appeared that no event took place.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Antoine Daniels said officers would clamp down on any attempt to break the curfew.

He added: “The BPS supports peaceful protest and is attempting to get in contact with the organisers to discuss with them adherence to the current Covid regulations as they pertain to the curfew.

“While the hope is that residents will comply with the new regulations, rather than them having to be enforced, persons are reminded anyone found in breach of curfew will be ticketed and face a fine of up to $500.”