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OBA renews calls for relaxation in Covid-19 regulations

Michael Dunkley (File photograph)

The Opposition has stepped up its calls for Covid regulations such as SafeKey and the curfew to be abandoned because they are ineffective.

Michael Dunkley, the One Bermuda Alliance health spokesperson, insisted the Government should not renew the emergency powers this week.

Mr Dunkley told The Royal Gazette: “We have been in this for two years. I think people know what they have to do.

“The Government has not really explained why these measures are still needed.

“Safekey is just ineffective and unequal. People serving in a restaurant don’t have to wear a mask, but others do.

“People are tired and frustrated by the regulations. The curfew – the Government has never explained why they think it helps.

“It is impacting on people’s ability to earn a living and needs to end. We need to move to a position of learning to live with Covid.”

The Government imposed a string of public-safety measures at the beginning of December after the highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus was detected on the island.

Last week, the Government said quarantine rules would be relaxed.

Mr Dunkley has also called for the Travel Authorisation system to be scrapped because he said it is put visitors off from coming to Bermuda.

The comments came after Kim Wilson, health minister, claimed the Government did not lose its grip on the Covid situation at the beginning of the year.

Ms Wilson blamed a “perfect storm” of factors including the school testing programme and increased holiday travel for the situation.

The comments came despite Dr Carika Weldon, the head of the Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, warning the Government on four occasions that if it pushed on with plans to open schools as scheduled on January 5, it would overwhelm the system.

After the unheeded warnings, testing delays led to nearly all public schools not opening on time and some travellers described “scenes of chaos and confusion” at WF Wade International Airport on New Year’s Day as passengers anxiously waited for overdue results they needed to board flights.

Dr Weldon has announced she will quit her post at the end of the month after her advice was ignored.

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Published January 17, 2022 at 7:54 am (Updated January 17, 2022 at 7:54 am)

OBA renews calls for relaxation in Covid-19 regulations

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