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Senate warning to stay on guard for virus

The public are not taking the dire consequences of failure to stick to Covid-19 rules seriously enough, an Opposition senator said yesterday.

Jarion Richardson warned that not enough attention was being paid to the mounting death toll by the pandemic.

He added: “These are mothers and fathers, and sons and daughters, cousins.

“They laughed, they pondered, they contributed to our national narrative.

“There's a holiday coming and there's going to be a lot of people in Bermuda who are missing important people in their lives.”

Mr Richardson said that the island was still locked in a battle to minimise the spread of the virus.

He added: “Now is not the time, as we go into a holiday, to see a lack of seriousness in the community.”

The One Bermuda Alliance senator highlighted photos posted on social media of crowds of people gathered together who were “clearly flouting the regulations”.

Mr Richardson said: “It is in no way right to tolerate these breaches.

He added the behaviour of people who disobeyed the rules was “unacceptable”.

Mr Richardson added: “It does infuriate me that I see people walking around who are not taking this seriously.

“This is serious. It will stay serious. Too many of us are already gone. Too many of us are crying for those who are gone.

“Now is not the time to let up.”

He was speaking as the Senate approved the extension of restrictions on movement in the Emergency Powers (Covid-19 Continuing Precautions) Regulations 2020 until June 30.

The Bill to extend the regulations, which will expire on Sunday, was approved without objection by MPs in a virtual sitting of the House of Assembly last Friday.

Ianthia Simmons-Wade said Bermuda was “very fortunate” to have its country status remain at local transmission with clusters of cases.

But the PLP senator warned: “This will be jeopardised if people fail to comply with the social-distancing, mask and handwashing.

“Individuals have to take responsibility not just for themselves, but also to protect the people they love, the people they work with, and anyone they come in contact with.”

Ms Simmons-Wade said that failure to follow the rules could prevent the country from moving to Phase 3 or the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.

Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, told senators that the seriousness of the pandemic was “evident to all of us”.

She said the appeal to the public to take the rules seriously by Mr Richardson “mirrors what the Premier and my colleagues have been emphasising in their public outreach almost daily”.

Ms Simmons added: “I can assure senators that necessary enforcement measures are in place and they are taken seriously.

“What we cannot do is lessen our diligence with regards to adherence to the measures that are going to keep us safe.”

She asked members of the public to help enforcement efforts.

Ms Simmons told them: “If you do encounter people who are breaching, a kind reminder would be welcome as we are all in this together.”

This is serious: Opposition senator Jarion Richardson

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Published May 28, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated May 28, 2020 at 3:59 pm)

Senate warning to stay on guard for virus

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