Economy ‘will be left in tatters’
The island's economy will be left in tatters by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Premier warned last night.
David Burt said: “The fact is that the recession that is coming may not be like anything we have seen before. That is a fact.”
He added: “As we move forward, we recognise that we have a decimated tourism industry that we are going to have to work very hard to get back.
“We are going to recognise from the perspective of cruise ships that there's going to be an industry that many persons rely on in Bermuda that may not be able to function as it was this year.”
Mr Burt said he and Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, yesterday had a conference call with members of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce.
He added that Mr Dickinson would speak soon about a stimulus package that he was putting together for the country.
Mr Burt said: “People should be concerned, absolutely. Things are going to have to change.”
He asked the public to use the time left of the two-week shelter-in-place lockdown to prepare for the difficult road ahead.
Mr Burt said that “there is going to be a lot of challenge and it is important that people take this time to build themselves and to take advantage of the resources which are offered online because it is critically important for their future”.
The Covid-19 pandemic started to have a major economic impact in mid-March.
Retailers focused on the tourist trade began to shut their doors a day after the Government announced that arrivals on the island would have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The quarantine rules, designed to slow the spread of Covid-19, came after the suspension of some cruise ship visits to the island.
Hotels also started to announce closures in the wake of worldwide restrictions on travel.
Only workers in essential services are exempt from the state of emergency shelter-in-place order.