Covid-19: Bill To Allow Power To Close Locations

March 16, 2020 | 6 Comments

A Bill to provide power for the Minister of Health to prevent the threatened spread of a communicable disease by “closing schools, cinemas, churches, hotels or other places of public resort” was tabled in the House Of Assembly today.

The Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum states, “This Bill seeks to amend the Public Health Act 1949 to provide power for the Minister of Health to prevent the threatened spread of a communicable disease of the first or second category by closing schools, cinemas, churches, hotels or other places of public resort or meeting in Bermuda.

“Clause 1 provides a citation for the Act. Clause 2 amends section 88 of the Public Health Act 1949 to provide power for the Minister of Health to prevent the threatened spread of a communicable disease of the first or second category by closing schools, cinemas, churches, hotels or other places of public resort or meeting in Bermuda if, in the opinion of the Chief Medical Officer, there is an immediate risk of an outbreak of such disease.”

In a highly unusual move – which is due to the Government’s urgent need to get this passed — the Bill will now head to the Senate, which is also meeting today, and the only item for debate today in the Senate will be this Bill.

The full Public Health Amendment Act 2020 follows below [PDF here]

You can view all our coverage of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic here, and our continuously updated live blog here.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Bermy says:

    Here comes the lockdown

  2. careful says:

    I know we are currently not in a healthy democracy being that there is no opposition, but please can these bills be changed to give wording to only be for Covid-19. This type of stuff goes down in history time and time again as allowing governments to get more and more authoritarian controls in place. Trump in USA, Putin in Russia, Xi in China to name a few big ones in recent times need to stay in check and Bermuda is no exception. Please ensure this legislation is worded in a way that it cannot be exploited in the future and is only for Covid19.

    I’m not trying to say Burt is planning to do this, but i am saying in the future some unknown leader maybe 20 years from now can exploit poorly worded laws to their benefit.

  3. 1845 says:

    CLANK CLANK!

  4. PM says:

    Very short. Please consider salary/wages during such closures. Employers and employees alike will still have bills to pay.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Please consider salary/wages during such closures. Employers and employees alike will still have bills to pay.“

      Yes, we will. But we are billions of dollars in debt with only 30,000 odd people to pay that debt. Who do you suggest pays for Government ordered closures?

  5. Curtis says:

    Good for us all….

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