Permit To Be Revoked If Worker Violates Order

March 17, 2020 | 74 Comments

[Updated] All individuals, including guest workers, arriving into Bermuda are required to self-quarantine for 14 days and “any guest worker found to be violating the self-quarantine order will immediately have their work permit revoked,” Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said.

A government spokesperson said, “The Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne M. Caines, JP, MP, issued an urgent advisory today, specifically for all guest workers as it relates to COVID-19 [coronavirus].

Minister Caines who is also the Co-Chair of the Emergency Measures Organisation [EMO] said, “As I have previously stressed the health, safety and wellbeing of all our residents is paramount.

“As the public is aware, as of today, March 17, 2020, all individuals inclusive of guest workers arriving into Bermuda are mandatorily required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

“This means – stay home. Practise social distancing. More specifically any guest worker found to be violating the self-quarantine order will immediately have their work permit revoked.”

“All residents are strongly advised to adhere to the Government’s health and public services advisories as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Update 6.20pm | BPSU Response

BPSU President Armell Thomas said, “The Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] highlights the urgent advisory issued on Tuesday, March 17 by the Minister of National Security Wayne Caines regarding penalties against persons who violate the Government’s recently implemented self-quarantine order.

“In this public statement, the Minister advised that all individuals arriving into Bermuda are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The BPSU joins the Government in its plea that all residents adhere to the Government’s health and public services advisories as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was noted, however, that MP Caines went on to state that “any guest worker found to be violating the self-quarantine order will immediately have their work permit revoked.”

“While the Union fully supports the Government’s efforts to manage this fast-changing crisis and to implement controls to protect the public’s wellbeing, we are concerned that it appears that guest workers will be subjected to harsher penalties than their Bermudian counterparts.

“The BPSU takes a strong stance against all forms of discrimination and actively advocates for labour protections for all workers irrespective of nationality. The Union, cognisant of the important and positive contributions that migrant workers make to our economy, implore that the Government ensure that its policies are not discriminatory in nature and are equally enforced.

“The BPSU reminds the Government of the importance of collaboration with its Union partners, especially during times of national crisis; together we can protect both the safety and the rights of all Bermuda’s workers.”

Update 6.53pm | Minister Comments Again

“We now live in a time of harsh reality,” said the Minister of National Security Wayne Caines following on from his statement earlier today about possible penalties for guest workers who fail to observe mandatory self-quarantine.

“The people of Bermuda can rest assured that any penalties that flow from the failure of any person to observe required quarantine orders will be just and applied equally. There is no suggestion of singling out guest workers but everyone must understand that we all have a part to play in reducing the risk of community spread of COVID-19 in Bermuda.

“The world is enduring a new normal and entire populations are having to radically shift how they live and work and the population of Bermuda is no different. This is no time for undue sensitivities; we are engaged in protecting Bermuda from the most serious public health scenario in decades and to mince words at this time does an injustice to the very real threat we are trying to address.”

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Comments (74)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    And here it starts, Trumpian rhetoric. Demonizing of guest workers.

    What happens is a Bermudian violates the order? Arrest? Sanction of some sort? Because you know Bermudians don’t think rules apply to them.

    • James says:

      I agree. This is dumb.

      • Wake up Bie says:

        So what is your UBPoba idea please let the voters know?????? I’ll tell you mine for free…..don’t travel!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Valerius Jean Louis says:

          That should be for all and not just guest workers that way he is not being racist.

        • dreb says:

          The rest of the world is very happy that you don’t travel. Now, make Bermudians happy, and don’t speak.

    • Honestly says:

      Positive comments ONLY!

    • nope says:

      People don’t follow traffic signs here. As if you are going to get them to obey this.

      • MB says:

        Hence the permit revoke order-in a way it helps the workers as their employers can not pull any forcing them to work stuff

    • BERMUDA STAND STRONG says:

      Stop being a stupid A$$ troll both the PLP and OBA are working as a team finally on this decisive.

      If you don’t like it get the letter (F) out of Bermuda. The island doesn’t need negative people like you at this time.

      You come on and blog pure vomit daily don’t you have a life or family that loves you. OMG

    • JAWS says:

      SO WHATS YOUR SOLUTION hmm WHAT WOULD YOU DO AS THE GOVERNMENT SANDGROWNAN? THIS IS VERY SERIOUS SITUATION LIFE ON THIS PLANET IS CHANGING FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. ARE YOU AWAKE IN THAT BRAIN OF YOURS?

      FIRST OF ALL ANY SENSIBLE PERSON WOULD NOT TRAVEL NOW BECAUSE THIS IS ABOUT LIFE AND DEATH ….THUS AVOIDING THE 14 DAY LOCK DOWN!!

      • sandgrownan says:

        You clearly didn’t read what I said, and you really need to stop shouting.

        The Gummt have announced a 14 day quarantine period for folks arriving in Bermuda. Nothing wrong with that, and your point about unnecessary travel is well taken, and I’m not sure you’d get much argument.

        The issue is this, Min. Caines has singled out guest workers for retribution if they don’t comply. So, what about Bermudians? Are they free to ignore the advice/rule? Are we going to lock them up?

        The point is that Min Caines didn’t need to threaten guest workers, or single them out, but he did. That’s the problem.

    • SixHalfDozen says:

      It’s not just guest workers that face potential consequences you ignorant anti-Bermudian prick – Quarantine Act 2017 and the Quarantine (Maritime and Air) Regulations 2017 (the latter which were just amended last week to include “Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)” – provide that *anyone* who doesn’t comply with an order or direction is liable to be arrested, a fine of up to $25,000 and six months imprisonment.

      http://www.bermudalaws.bm/laws/Consolidated%20Laws/Quarantine%20Act%202017.pdf

      http://www.bermudalaws.bm/laws/Consolidated%20Laws/Quarantine%20(Maritime%20and%20Air)%20Regulations%202017.pdf

  2. Uchiha Clan says:

    They also need to fine any business that lets them work. Cause I doubt there bosses are gonna ask them to stay home.

  3. Hmmm says:

    Adversity doesn’t create character, it reveals it. Now we can see Wayne’s character clearly and it’s not pretty.

    Spend more effort helping and less stoking and politicking. Shameful.

  4. Hudson says:

    If there was ever a time to unite its now, but instead the govt chooses to issue a note with this tone. SMH.

    Nobody wants to get or share this virus. Including the expats. Stop creating an us and them culture Its simply putting more nails in our coffin.

    • CHRIS says:

      the PLP know no other way. they are empty vessels.

      • Mixitup says:

        You all are not getting it. So quick to defend foreign workers, I’ve never seen the Bermudian defended in this manner. Nonetheless, many foreign workers have extended vacations Up to 8 weeks and are now returning.
        Some of these workers have come from countries that have been exposed and have been seen back at work.

        Thank you to the Govt taking this serious.

        Hell Two weeks ago you all chastised the Govt for not taking it serious.

  5. Me says:

    Here we go anti foreigner statements, shouldn’t everyone be under the same rule

  6. watching says:

    This is not demonizing anyone. This is telling them what the consequences will be if they jeopardize others’ health.

    You cant revoke a work permit on a Bermudian so it cannot be compared.

    • Opnions Matter says:

      SO what will happen to the Bermudians?

      • Ben says:

        This is disgusting. Of course it is demonising.

        Wayne Caines should be ashamed.

    • Hmmm says:

      You can put people in prison or levy fines. No mention of that though.

    • Really? says:

      While maybe not “demonizing” expats/guest workers, it certainly reinforces the “us and then” mentality that is so prevalent in Bermuda. If the intent was to speak to the seriousness of following the order, consequences for all people arriving in Bermuda—visitors, expats, and Bermudians—would have been outlined.

    • CHRIS says:

      what an idiotic statement!

    • question says:

      The most moronic comment. Well done.

    • Mila says:

      It’s a useless statement. The warning should go out to employers, who would take advantage of a guest worker and ask them to report to work, in an environment, which is unsafe. This is a useless statement – not thought out. Everyone wants to support leadership, but, poorly thought out statements like this make it difficult to trust.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Exactly.

      • Layitonthetable says:

        In addition – Guest workers don’t tend to live alone. Many house-share, room share, bed share and “hot-bedding” I’m sure is not a thing of the past. Self-isolation will undoubtedly still mean they will be in contact with others that do still have to go to our work and public spaces.

        • trufth says:

          You need some education, mate. Expats are doctors, lawyers, CEOs….

          You win the idiot of the day award.

    • Guest Worker says:

      so what will be their consequence if they violated the ruling? will they be fired? Their punishment must equal that of what will be handed down to the guest worker.

  7. Allen G says:

    This is not xenophobia rhetoric. Mr. And Mrs. Bermuda please understand that many guest workers have their rights and privileges exploited by employers, specifically within service industries. Some have their immigration documents removed, live in unhealthy employer provided housing have no health insurance even though they should etc. It is modern day slavery happening and we don’t talk about it. The workers often do not report the conditions due to fear or family hardships in their mother couuntry. The Minister’s words provide support for this portion of the population during this critical time of public health emergency.

    • Sailor says:

      Hahahhahahha

    • aceboy says:

      How does threatening to remove work permits provide support for guest workers? What bizarre world are you living in?

    • sandgrownan says:

      Perhaps he ought to have phrased it that way, or announced the measures for violators to be focused on the employer. What he actually did, was demonize guest workers, and he did it in a way that resonates with our beautifully xenophobic population. Another reason to hate the foreigner.

      It was a cheap shot

    • Ian says:

      If that is the case, why punish the employees? Why not punish the business that is “forcing” them to work?

    • Maybe? says:

      Valid point, but the words here are directed at individuals, not businesses. If the purpose of the statement was to tell businesses that they must allow returning guest workers to quarantine for two weeks without repercussions, it would have said so. The entirety of this is directed at individuals.

    • David says:

      Why would it be ok to punish the ‘exploited workers’ and ‘modern day slaves’ but not punish the employer? In other words, punishing an exploited worker doesn’t protect the worker… punishing the worker protects the employer. See?

    • Mila says:

      Nice try to spin. It’s a slap in the face to all the expat healthcare workers, who will be required to work very hard for Bermudians if this or any other crisis gets out of hand. Furthermore, if your theory made sense, he could have said, there will be fines for employers who ask their employees to come to work during this time. I think that would address your concern.

    • trufth says:

      Many CEOs of companies are Expats too.

      And believe me, they just made note of the dooosh-bag tone this threat was given with.

  8. lol says:

    I dont know what people are worried about. We all know immigration is closed here so there is no way corona will be allowed in….lol

  9. Cooperation is key says:

    So would you like Bermudians to lose their citizenship? Yes, I’m Bermudian before you ask.

    I have no issues with this, it is a serious situation. Many expats travel for business and are high level executives and feel they must go to work. They have positions of responsibility. So this is just saying you are not exempt.

    Thank you to everyone who is trying to come up with plans to keep our Island safe.

    • Joe Balboa says:

      Missing the point, again and again. What penalty does the Bermudian incur if they break quarantine? Why not punish everyone equally by issuing fines like they’ve done in other countries?? So simple to do vs calling out the expat.

  10. dunn juice says:

    That’s fine we have a growing population anyway.
    #BRAINIACS

  11. Boston Whaler Owner says:

    Titty Milk = corona virus anitdote.

  12. Earl says:

    So what happens to the Bermudians???? Double standards in this xenophobic country

  13. Just asking says:

    For the sake of clarity can the minister please define all the rules of self-quarantine so that we know where we stand. This would be extremely helpful.

  14. Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

    Canada has just, announced in a news conference, that only Canadians and Permanent Residents will be allowed back into the country. Would you all deem that racist or xenophobic or divisive? Or would you rather we did the same? All of the other protective announcements we have already in place, just to show how well Bermuda is dealing with this crisis. Some of you?

    • sandgrownan says:

      Nothing wrong with that. Permit holders are legal residents. The point is that Min Caines singled out permit holders for retribution if they don’t comply.

      Why did he do that?

    • Lol says:

      I for one would like to know if the OBA is 100% with this. The opposition leader said that both OBA and PLP teamed up on all this but its funny that the trolls are not bashing their own OBA.

    • Question says:

      So Canada is treating all residents equally.
      You really don’t see the difference, do you.

    • aceboy says:

      Permanent residents would include ex pat workers on permits living in Canada. The actual announcement included immediate family members and a few others.

      What the Canadian government is NOT doing is threatening to essentially throw out those same permanent residents should they violate a mandatory self isolation law. That would be considered a violation of their rights in Canada

  15. Hope says:

    They could have implemented a fine on every individual, as well as naming and shaming. They could also fine their employer if it is deemed that they have broken isolation to work. But revoking permits? Do you want IB at all? Because with your now $2.9 billion of debt I’m sure IB would be beneficial!

    If food shortages occur then I give it a week before they “ask” expats to go back home.

  16. Marion says:

    We have Bermudian in Miami that can not get home because there flight has been cancelled. America Airlines. What are they to do.

  17. Awakening says:

    Many countries are asking their people to return home . Now would be a good time to revoke all work permits outside of the reinsurance, insurance industry to allow the available job pool to be filled by locals who have long been kept down. Many local companies have operated in Bermuda over twenty years yet most managerial positions filled by foreign individuals with scachy experience . No business with that long in operation should be allowed to hire foreign individuals having had the opportunity to train and hire locally. Many times over .

  18. James= says:

    how/ who is this being checked?? does someone send pictures to someone of someone out in public —please advise

  19. James says:

    What a ridiculous rule to impose – Why should guest-workers be treated any differently to Bermudians or PRC holders?! I agree this is very serious and there need to be consequences for non-compliance – anyone found to be breaking the rules should be heavily fined or imprisoned, regardless of their status on the island.

  20. ella says:

    NOT FAIR! WHAT ABOUT THE HARD HEADED BERMUDIANS?

  21. DeOnion says:

    Caines backtracks after union opposition – well done to the BPSU!

  22. Sandgrownan says:

    He’s walked back his comments a little – but isn’t clear on penalties.

    Undue sensitivities? What a clown.

  23. bermyluv says:

    It is very likely that the punishment for Bermudians may be limited by the available laws. The recent amendments didn’t appear to include any consequences and I haven’t read the full acts they are attached to. However, it is considerably easier to revoke a work permit than it is to incarcerate or detain someone, unless of course the laws around quarantine allow.

  24. Jade says:

    I am honestly disgusted by this article and all the guest workers should go on strike until there is a formal apology and recognition and appreciation for our services.

  25. Watcher says:

    So now it’s our fault for being overly sensitive not yours for opening your big mouth and inserting your foot. Many of those work permit holders you choose to single out are the people who protect our streets and you when you’re sleeping minister the same people you and your government have refused to settle their pay negotiations for over 2 years. You had one job

  26. Eye Roll says:

    Minister Caines is absolutely correct when he says, “ There is no suggestion of singling out guest workers…”, as his initial comments were as explicit as could be. Guest workers, and only guest workers, were threatened with severe punishment for noncompliance.

  27. ImJustSayin says:

    You all who are crying foul need to read it again. “As the public is aware, as of today, March 17, 2020, (ALL) individuals inclusive of guest workers arriving into Bermuda are mandatorily required to self-quarantine for 14 days.Minister Caines who is also the Co-Chair of the Emergency Measures Organisation [EMO] said, “As I have previously stressed the health, safety and wellbeing of all our residents is paramount.

  28. Vexasrh says:

    This is hilarious.

    “There is no suggestion of singling out guest workers…” but yet the comment is ” More specifically any guest worker found to be violating the self-quarantine order will immediately have their work permit revoked.”

    What is the punishment for Bermudians, PRCs and Spouses of Bermudians who violate the quarantine?………*chirp chirp…..*…….nothing? thats what i thought.

    This is just clearly showing what every one here already knows. “Expats”, “Islanders” and “Foreigners ” will always be treated differently in Bermuda. The IRONY of the situation is the persons who engage in these type of speech can be more often than not found to be immediate descendants of people who came from elsewhere….but just like other parts of the world…y’all “have arrived”…and are SO much better now. I wonder how the parents of these people feel, seeing their children shake off their heritage to forge a future that is so Bermudian, they want to forget where they REALLY came from. A heritage y’all only wanna discuss when conversations surround travel to big countries or carnivals in the countries some of your parents came from….

    All Bermudians thankfully are not like this, but until Bermuda acknowledges the contribution that other people have made to it’s growth and prosperity, and supports and does not scorn the presence of “guest workers”……. these type of declarations will continue to be common place.

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