Government senators back student mask wearing
Mask requirements for young schoolchildren came up for question in the Senate as the Upper House agreed to extend Covid-19 emergency health orders beyond the end of this month to March 31.
Arianna Hodgson, the junior health minister, said there was “no question masking reduces the spread of disease”.
She said classrooms were small, with safety proving a challenge, while the risk factors from Covid-19 to unvaccinated young children “should not be overlooked”.
She added: “We already have a shortage of teachers.”
Diallo Rabain, the education minister, announced last Friday in the House of Assembly that masking in schools would be relaxed from last Monday to only apply to pupils from primary Year 4 upward.
Yesterday the Senate passed the Public Health (Covid-19) Emergency Extension (No 2) Order 2022.
Ms Hodgson’s remarks came after Robin Tucker of the One Bermuda Alliance questioned why pupils from P4 up had to be constantly masked in the classroom while vaccinated and unvaccinated restaurant patrons could enjoy a meal together.
“It seems just a little illogical,” she said.
The Senate also gave the green light to the Proceeds of Crime Amendment Act 2022.
The legislation ramps up policing of the transfer of digital assets of $1,000 or more and includes cases in which no account is used to process the transaction.
The Pace amendments will also brings credit unions under regulation.
Bermuda’s largely favourable assessment by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force on anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing came through in 2020.
Ms Hodgson said the island was preparing to submit a follow-up report to the task force in May.