Police checks reveal nine quarantine breakers
Nine people failed to stick to self-quarantine rules imposed to cut spread of Covid-19, the national security minister said on Saturday.
Wayne Caines said that police had visited 140 homes in a three-day spell to check on people in self-quarantine.
Two people were not at home on Thursday, three were out on Friday and four on Saturday.
Mr Caines told a press conference: “These matters are still under live investigation.”
Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said that the nine people would go through the judicial process.
Mr Caines added 2,926 roadside stops had been carried out throughout the week, and that the numbers had fallen from 1,106 or Monday to 138 by 5.30pm on Saturday.
He added: “None of the community checkpoints identified any persons who are under quarantine.”
Mr Caines said that 25 people were quarantined in hotels and 1,465 people were in quarantine at home. They were speaking just before an island-wide curfew from 8pm to 6am came in to force yesterday.
Mr Caines said that police officers and soldiers would be out to enforce the lockdown.
He added: “Any person found to be contravening the curfew will be arrested.”
Curfew breakers will face up to six months in jail, a fine of $2,880 or both.
Mr Caines said that uniformed and emergency services were exempt from the curfew.
These included police officers, Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service members, Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers, customs officers, Department of Immigration workers and prison staff.
He added that other exemptions included David Burt, the Premier, members of Cabinet, the Cabinet Secretary, the head of the Public Service and permanent secretaries, Government House staff, and Supreme Court and Magistrates' Court judges.
Medical workers, dock workers, Department of Child and Family Services staff, staff at power firm Belco, staff at telecoms Digicel and One Communications, as well as members of the media are also exempt.
Mr Caines said that exempted people must carry with them a valid driver's licence or valid employment ID. He added that people who worked in a critical service not identified on his list should submit a form on the Government's website at forms.gov.bm/covid-19/curfew.
Mr Caines said that everyone else “should be at home”.
He added: “We are giving enough notice that everyone should be in their home by 8pm tomorrow evening.”
Mr Corbishley said that people caught out and about would have their details taken by police and passed on to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
He added: “We are not seeking to criminalise people — but there is a line in the sand.
“The officers will be professional and courteous but, if people choose to breach, they are liable to fines, they are liable to arrests and indeed they are liable to imprisonment. We need our communities to work with us.”
Mr Caines said that nine workers at Westgate Prison were sick and one member of staff at the Department of Corrections headquarters was under self-quarantine after travel to the United States.
An officer at the Prison Farm was also off sick and under self-quarantine, after showing “signs of coughing”.
Mr Caines said that two staff members were sick at the Co-ed Facility. He added that all the staff absences were “justified”.
Mr Caines said that the protection of vulnerable people was of “paramount importance”.
He highlighted a number of organisations, including the Salvation Army, the Eliza DoLittle Society, and Meals on Wheels, along with several churches, who had stepped up to provide food, shelter and shower facilities.
Mr Caines said: “Specifically as it relates to the Salvation Army, they are providing services for our homeless population, at Harbour Light and the Berkeley Gymnasium.
“Additionally, Focus Counselling has four beds for those who need assistance.”
• Anyone interested in helping the Salvation Army should call 296-6740 or 704-7673
• To view the Minister of National Security's remarks in full, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”