Schools To Close, Bus/Ferries Suspended & More

March 18, 2020 | 29 Comments

The airport will close for incoming passenger flights on Friday, March 20 at 11:59pm for two weeks, schools will be closed from March 19th until April 6th, and public bus and ferry services are suspended until April 6.

This was announced this evening [March 18] by Premier David Burt, with the closures following the announcement earlier today that the island has now recorded our first two confirmed cases of people with Covid-19. The Premier said that the two individuals who have confirmed positive for Covid-19 were on American Airlines Flight 308 on March 4 and the British Airways flight 2233 on March 6.

The Premier also announced that the seaport is closed to visiting vessels, but essential cargo operations bringing food, medicine, medical supplies and other essential goods will still continue to arrive, Government workers who are not directly involved with the Covid-19 management and operation will work from home until April 6th, and the Royal Bermuda Regiment has been embodied to provide support to emergency personnel.

Live video replay [not the best quality, sorry!] of this evening’s press conference:

Premier David Burt said, “Good evening. Following the announcement I made earlier this evening of two confirmed cases of imported Covid-19 to Bermuda, the Covid-19 EMO was embodied at 7pm and the following decisions were made:

“The LF Wade international airport will close for incoming passenger flights on Friday, March 20 at 11:59PM for the next two weeks. Non-residents will not be landed on the island from tomorrow. Only returning residents will be allowed on flights to Bermuda between tomorrow morning and Friday night. Cargo flights will not be affected.

“The seaport is closed to visiting vessels, but essential cargo operations bringing food, medicine, medical supplies and other essential goods will still continue to arrive in Bermuda.

“Schools will be closed from tomorrow until April 6th. All principals, teachers and staff should report to school tomorrow morning to finalize transition plans for remote learning for students. Bermuda College will not have classes tomorrow or Friday but classes will resume on Monday using the online environment. All Bermuda College employees are asked to report to work tomorrow.

“The following Legal Affairs departments: National Drug Control and Child and Family Services, residential treatment services will remain in operation. All other departments in the Department of Legal Affairs will have reduced operations.

“The public bus and ferry services are suspended until April 6. Government workers who are not directly involved with the Covid-19 management and operation will work from home until April 6th. Managers will provide guidance to all Public Officers throughout the course of the day tomorrow.

“Private businesses are encouraged to ask their employees to work from home, if possible. Otherwise work schedules should be staggered to minimize the number of people in the workplace.

“The Royal Bermuda Regiment has been embodied to provide support to emergency personnel. His Excellency the Governor will be issuing the embodiment order this evening.

“Bars, restaurants, and other social establishments are strongly urged to scale down their operations from tonight and enforce social distancing. Essential retail outlets will continue to operate, such as food and medicines and there will be specific guidance issued to all retail establishments tomorrow following the Covid-19 EMO meeting.

“These actions are drastic, but we are taking them in order to confirm that there is not community spread of Covid-19 in Bermuda. Bermuda will be impacted financial and socially, however, the health and welfare of our people is the most important consideration. Given that we will have the ability to screen for Covid-19 on island starting on Friday, we will be able to quickly asses the risk and ensure that we contain this virus.

“There are many questions in the community about the flights the two individuals who were confirmed with Covid-19 traveled on.

“The two individuals who have confirmed positive for Covid-19 were on American Airlines Flight 308 on March 4 and the British Airways flight 2233 on March 6.

“If you were traveling on either of those flights here is what you should know.

“For those of you who were on the March 4 flight, your self-monitoring period ends today. If you were on the flight on the March 6 your self-monitoring period ends in two days on March 20. If you have not been unwell during this period, there is nothing else for you to do. If you have respiratory symptoms, contact your doctor. Explain that you were on one of those flights and you want medical guidance. Do not go to your doctor’s office or the hospital. Please call ahead.

“A 12-hour Covid-19 helpline has been established to provide support to those who may have concerns and questions about the disease. The phone number is 444 2498. I’ll repeat it 444 2498 and anyone is able to call if they have questions or concerns. The helpline will be operational tomorrow at 9AM until 9PM.

“This is a time for us to show our strength as a community. This is a time for us to do what we must to protect our country. This is a time for us to show responsibility by following the stringent self-quarantine measures which are put in place to protect us all.

“We have seen what has happened around the world with this virus, and we must all work together to prevent that from happening here in Bermuda. Rest assured your government is working around the clock, and together, if every Bermudian resident does their part, Bermuda will come through successfully, I have no doubt. Thank you.”

You can view all our coverage of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic here, our continuously updated live blog here and please recall to follow all guidance from the officials like washing your hands, adhering to self quarantine if relevant, and practicing social distancing!

click here Bermuda Covid-19

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Comments (29)

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  1. Dumb dumb says:

    What is everyone in NY or London? The window is not big enough for people to get home. Thanks Burt. What a joke

    • Wake up Bie says:

      Most of the airlines are cancelling flights other Countries are doing the same as BDA. It appears your’re the idiot for not looking at the World News.

    • PREMIER Burt is the most intelligent, youngest Premier , EVER.
      HE has wrapped circles and squares around Dunkley…not swift!!
      God above, thank you for Premier Burt. May he serve the residents of Bermuda in his intelligent and knowledgeable ways!!
      If you are feeling that way about Premier Burt, exit swiftly!
      The ocean would be your best bet out of this country!!Hahahaha!!

  2. mixitup says:

    Thank you Premier… I think the Gov’t has done a very good job thus far.

    • Hey says:

      Disagree, A friend flew in on day after one of the coronvirus carriers entered. We’re just asked where they had been and had they been to certain countries. The usual hand sanitizer was there at least.

      We should have prepared testing lab facilities in Bermuda as soon as the outbreak occurred. Sending tests away and waiting for 5 days makes no sense.

  3. AlbertaBoy says:

    Lock the whole country down as quickly as possible. Everyone stay home and isolate. Only essential services. Go further than anyone thinks is necessary. Take it from us who are just experiencing the beginning in Alberta Canada…

  4. nick says:

    Will the courts still be open?

    • Me says:

      Only for protection orders, habeus corpus and child protection matters.

  5. campervan says:

    Excellent job premier and team, thank you for your calm and assertive measures in these trying times.

  6. Dready says:

    The politicians should have their pay suspended just like everyone else who us out of or soon to be out of work!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “The politicians should have their pay suspended just like everyone else who us out of or soon to be out of work!”

      Why? They will be working as hard as ever.

  7. Brian says:

    The Government website needs to remove “The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low”

    This is extremely poor unfortunate, because we have seen for weeks now very strong evidence of community spread from asymptomatic people. This is a unique virus and clearly not locking everyone down only spreads this thing like you wouldn’t believe.

    Let’s get this idea that we need to see symptoms before significant risk of transmitting completely out of our heads.

    Without lockdown the hospital will be overrun with no time at all.

    The key to control this is EVERYONE participating and realizing that just breathing spreads it and even if they don’t have symptoms.

  8. Warrior says:

    What is, if anything, being done for the homeless?

    • JAWS says:

      It’s homeless people that can survive longer on one roll of toilet paper than some of these unappreciated people that criticize sun or rain.

      • Tony says:

        Restaurants should all start selling by delivery and takeout for 2 weeks.

        We have to save KFC!!

  9. Jim Gould says:

    I’ve not read about any restrictions re gatherings of more than (for instance) 10 people. Have the islands churches been asked to provide services online or even outside? Perhaps utilize Hamilton City Hall Car Park drive in movie system to conduct church services so church members can worship together while safely isolated from one another in their own cars? It would be also very useful to have those with expertise (doctors, nurses) on radio talk shows to provide ongoing and daily useful info…what I’ve heard on the talk shows lately regarding COVID19 has ranged from useless to dangerously misinformed. Last of all, I’d urge our government to consider that more information provided freely is always better than trying to “manage” the message. This is the time that our politicians and leaders must create and nurture trust with us if they are to do their jobs effectively. As citizens it is our responsibility to each other to behave responsibly and follow what may be to us onerous or uncomfortable directions. We owe it to each other, the life you save could be your own or someone you love. Check in (at a distance!) with neighbours, friends and family. And when this is over support local businesses as they begin again.

  10. Imjustsaying says:

    I hope they haven’t moved to late on this.

  11. Joe Bloggs says:

    ” the Royal Bermuda Regiment has been embodied to provide support to emergency personnel.”

    So much for distancing ourselves from each other

  12. Funny stuff says:

    A 12 hour hotline! That’s funny.

    Perhaps the next time the entire world shuts down due to a once in a century health crisis the gov’t will consider having one person available to answer questions 24 hours a day.

  13. frank says:

    the hotline 4442498 sounds like a number from a provider that requires a modem it should be a line from btc lines from btc will work even when the power goes down just a thought
    also maybe it is time to power up fm 101.1

  14. bigga says:

    Great job Govt. no country has got this right this has been a learning experience for EVERY COUNTRY in the world. So lets band together AS ONE FOR A CHANGE and support your countries leaders during this crisis STOP BEING DIVISIVE NOW IS NOT THE TIME.

  15. Me says:

    Should have a #stayhome policy in place by now

  16. Joe Bloggs says:

    I obviously missed this gem on my first read through:

    “Bars, restaurants, and other social establishments are strongly urged to scale down their operations from tonight and enforce social distancing.”

    Times have obviously changed. When I used to go to bars and clubs the whole point was to get close to a girl!

  17. Kevin W says:

    Any updates??

  18. Simone G says:

    For person who purchased 3 mth passes, will there be a refund?

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