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Curfew ends today, but other restrictions to stay for at least two weeks

Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers on Covid-19 checkpoint duties (File photograph)

Covid-19 curfew restrictions ended today at 5am, the Ministry of Health said last night.

But other rules designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus will remain in force for two more weeks from Friday.

They include keeping maximum group sizes to 20 people.

Household mixing is still “strongly discouraged” and officials asked the public to use antigen tests before they visit another home.

Masks will also still be required indoors and outdoors if people are inside six feet of each other.

Tables in restaurants, bars and clubs will be limited to a maximum of ten people and tables must be spaced 6ft apart. SafeKey will also continue to be required for indoor seating.

Churches will be allowed to open but the congregation and celebrants must use masks, including officiants and choirs.

Officials encouraged people able to work from home to do so and for staff who did go in to work to use antigen tests.

Gyms will remain open but with SafeKey and social-distancing still enforced.

For personal care services, SafeKey is recommended where masks must be removed.

The move came as England dropped the requirement for people to work from home and masks in secondary school classrooms were phased out from today.

England will no longer require face masks in indoor public spaces from January 27 and proof of vaccination or a recent clear coronavirus test will no longer be required for entry to venues and large events.

The Bermudian changes came after the Cabinet reviewed its regulations yesterday.

A spokeswoman said the changes took into account the behaviour of the Omicron variant and allowed for the end of the curfew.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said that early evidence showed Omicron was more contagious but caused less illness and fewer hospital admissions.

She said time in hospital appeared to be “around half” of that caused by the Delta variant and credited higher uptake of the vaccine and booster for easing the burden on healthcare services.

Ms Wilson added: “Evidence shows that the positive Omicron cases are symptomatic.

“However, for those who are vaccinated, their symptoms are mild.”

Omicron’s effects include cold symptoms, fatigue, a runny nose, cough, headache, congestion, a sore or scratchy throat, and body aches.

Anyone with symptoms should stay at home.

Ms Wilson said SafeKey remained a valuable tool to cut the risk of transmission.

People who have had at least two doses of the jab can renew their SafeKey. But a booster will be required to renew SafeKey after February 15.

Ms Wilson said that testing appointments at Government sites had been limited to a daily maximum until the Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory was able to get back to a 24-hour turnaround for results.

But she said extra lab capacity was expected by this weekend.

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Published January 20, 2022 at 7:25 pm (Updated January 20, 2022 at 7:25 pm)

Curfew ends today, but other restrictions to stay for at least two weeks

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