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Police to launch Covid-19 crackdown on bars, restaurants and house parties

Assistant Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes (Photograph supplied)

Police officers are to target bars, restaurants and house parties in a bid to enforce Covid-19 safety rules, a top police officer warned today.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes said the move was sparked by an on-island transmission with “no obvious connect to travel” and police observations that licensed premises had “relaxed their vigilance”.

Mr Weekes warned that “enforcement actions will follow where blatant offences are seen occurring”.

He said: “A quick drive around the city of an average Friday evening makes it obvious that many restaurants and bars have somewhat relaxed their vigilance around the Covid-19 regulations.

“Masks are not being worn appropriately, sanitiser stations are being ignored, contact tracing is not taking place, patrons are moving freely among tables and congregating in groups less than six feet apart without masks and so on.“

Mr Weekes added: “Licence holders are reminded that the regulations allow for licensed premises to be shut down for 24 hours where a Superintendent of Police deems that offences have taken place on their premises and it is necessary to close them down.

“Premises who have become lax in their compliance can expect to be shut down and additionally face consequences in court.”

Mr Weekes highlighted news that an on-island transmission had been logged by health officials with no apparent overseas connection showed that the pandemic was “far from over, even here in Bermuda”.

He added: “The Editorial in today’s Royal Gazette also strongly makes the point that it is up to all of us to work together to keep each other, and in particular the vulnerable, safe from infection.

“To this end. I have today instructed all police officers to do more to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 regulations.

Mr Weekes said: “The issue of large gatherings at house parties has also been raised and patrols will be instructed to monitor gatherings and where numbers are suspected to be in excess of 75 persons and no permit exists, or where mask and physical distancing protocols are being blatantly disregarded, enforcement action will follow.

“It is up to all of us to work together to keep Bermuda safe and to reduce the infection rate in order to save lives.”

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Published November 20, 2020 at 2:40 pm (Updated November 20, 2020 at 2:42 pm)

Police to launch Covid-19 crackdown on bars, restaurants and house parties

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