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Caines: curfew will keep us safe

National security minister Caines briefs the troops on the first night of curfew (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

An island-wide curfew got off to a “heart-warming” start, the Minister of National Security said last night.Wayne Caines, who patrolled the island with soldiers of the Royal Bermuda Regiment, said that residents were adhering to the lockdown without problem.Mr Caines was speaking to The Royal Gazette last night, several hours before reports of a break-in at the Coconut Rock restaurant on Reid Street.He said at that time: “It is heart-warming to see that the streets are indeed quiet and that everyone seems to be respecting the curfew.”David Burt, the Premier, notified Bermuda of the countrywide curfew from 8pm to 6am last Friday after he revealed that the number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 had risen to 17. Since then, the figure has grown to 22.Mr Burt added it would be a “rolling curfew”, which can be imposed for up to three days at a time.Curfew breakers will face up to six months in jail, a fine of $2,880 or both.Uniformed and medical services and other essential services are exempt, as well as anyone en route to the hospital or for medical treatment.Mr Caines said that Berkeley Institute had housed three “vulnerable people” last night and was prepared to house as many as 40 persons.He said that the facility had the help of mental health nurses, security and care workers from the Department of Child and Family Services alongside medical practitioners.Mr Caines said: “We’re just setting up an environment where people know if we have vulnerable people in our society they can be housed and taken case of there.”Mr Caines stressed the importance of social distancing for the sake of public health.He added: “In order for our country to be safe we have to stay at home and sometimes we do not understand that what we’re trying to do is prevent community spread that allows that.“This is an opportunity for us to understand that, as a country, we have to come together and that the best thing we can do at this particular moment is stay indoors.”The Royal Gazette has requested information from police on how the curfew was observed.• Wayne Caines was interviewed and recorded by Blaire Simmons and Kyle McNeil of The Royal Gazette