Minister: Immigration, BFRS, Delta Flight, More

May 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

Minister of National Security Wayne Caines provided an update regarding the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service [BFRS], Department of Immigration, Delta Charter Flight, and the community’s compliance with the regulations governing the Phase One reopening of Bermuda.

Minister Caines said, “For the most part, we are seeing broad cooperation from the community and their compliance with Phase One of the Regulations. We are however monitoring various community chatter about the possibility of planned events to commemorate Bermuda Day. Again I urge the public to please be mindful of the guidelines in place. Any disruptions or breaches of the regulations could result in the Phase One period being extended. Sadly, as you are aware, last week our community was once again shaken by gun violence and anti-social behaviour.

“Against the backdrop of what our Country is facing, this type of activity is the absolute last thing that’s needed. The Commissioner of Police has advised that the BPS have increased their patrols in key locations to manage gang tensions. And I encourage anyone with any information on last week’s incident to please contact the Police and share what you know. The Royal Bermuda Regiment continue their community engagement to ensure the Phase One regulations are followed.

“This includes monitoring activity during the curfew hours and visiting beaches, parks and public spaces to ensure that persons are physically distancing and taking the right health and safety precautions. A special note about curfew hours specifically for boats and vessels on our waters. As a reminder, under the regulations, the curfew for vessels is actually at 7.00 p.m. and not 10.00 pm. So to be clear, at 7.00 p.m. any boat, vessel or pleasure craft should not be cruising around in our waters. Individuals on these boats must be indoors by 10.00 p.m.

“Switching to the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service – these dedicated men and women continue to provide a vital service to the community.

Last week, the BFRS answered a total of 138 emergency calls:

  • 93 were EMS related.
  • 45 were fire related.

“Also last week, as part of our new normal, the BFRS introduced Remote Video Inspections or RVIs particularly for buildings and construction sites. With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing in person inspections, these video links enable the Fire inspectors to conduct smaller routine inspections, consultations, system tests and Fire Certificate Occupancy Inspections in keeping with the health, safety and distancing guidelines.

“Since its launch 3 requests have been received for the video remote inspection service which are conducted either via WhatsApp video, FaceTime or Zoom.

“Any business or construction site can utilize this service by emailing fireprotection@gov.bm.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the Bermuda Red Cross for their recent donation of surgical masks to our BFRS team. We appreciate their support of the BFRS and all our frontline workers during these challenging time.

“Over at the Department of Immigration, there are a few updates to share. The waiver of certain fees:

“Fees will be waived for applications that would have had a resultant negative impact during the period March 18 – June 5, 2020, for advertisement extensions, late applications, and appeals for continuance of work.

“Expired Passports & Visas [already-resident applicants]

  • “For resident work permit holders [and dependents] whose passport and/or visa has expired but who cannot obtain a new passport or visa, we will waive this requirement.
  • “Employers must ensure that new passports and visas are applied for by August 4, 2020.

“Applications should not be submitted for potential work permit holders [and their dependents] who are:

  • currently off island and whose passport and/or visa has expired,
  • who do not have a passport and/or visa, or
  • for visa controlled nationals, whose passport and visa does not meet our 45-day rule.

“Lastly, regarding the Delta Charter Flight which is due to arrive in Bermuda on May 15. This special flight is courtesy of Travel Edge and consists of 86 passengers.

“These include Bermudian students and residents who have been unable to return home. The flight also consists of some residents who have been abroad for medical treatment.

“As with the previous air-bridge flights all of the standard health and safety protocols will be followed at the airport to ensure the safety of our Customs and Immigration Officers as well as the members of the flight.

“Everyone must quarantine at the Government Quarantine Facility for 14 days. The fee for residents staying at the quarantine facility is $100 a day. Please note that the Ministry is accepting applications for persons who are not able to pay due to financial hardship- this will be considered on a case by case basis.

“Anyone who may need to self-quarantine at home for medical reasons should apply to the Ministry of Health.

“Both of these exemption forms can be found on the Government website here.

“Once Wednesday’s flight has landed and the disembarking passengers have been processed. That same flight will return to the US that same day, with 92 outbound passengers of varying nationalities.”

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