‘Business Requires Written Authorization’

April 19, 2020 | 12 Comments

[Updated] In advance of the scheduled changes to the regulations tomorrow, Minister of National Security Wayne Caines provided an overview of the procedures, noting that a business requires written authorization from the Ministry of National Security prior to the commencement of operations.

Minister Caines said, “We appreciate and understand the feedback, queries, suggestions and concerns being shared by all those who have expressed an interest in operating a service during the next Shelter in Place period.

“However it’s critically important to remind the community that we still must ensure that we are following the health guidance to protect and safeguard all our residents from the transmission of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

“Any approved business will have significant operating restrictions in keeping with the social distancing guidelines. And the reality is that we must manage the expectations of those organisations and businesses that are seeking permission from the Ministry to operate.

“As it stands the updated amendments are effective tomorrow, Monday, 20th April 2020.

“To assist businesses, we have created an online form so that businesses can make application to operate. The form will available later today and the public will be advised when the e-form is live. Guidance Notes will be included with the online application form to assist applicants.

“The Ministry will review submitted applications and contact applicants [during business hours] within 24-hours of receipt of a completed application. This e-form will enable the Ministry to grant approvals.

“I want to make it clear however, that the submission of an application does not automatically mean that a business will be given approval to operate. And any business that opens contrary to the Emergency Powers (Shelter in Place) Regulations is liable to prosecution.

“As a reminder the updated amendments will include the following:

  • Roadside sales by a licensed fisherman;
  • Roadside sales by a registered commercial farmer;
  • Laundromats under certain restrictions;
  • Pet shops under certain restrictions;
  • Hardware stores [including paint stores] under certain restrictions;
  • Plant nurseries under certain restrictions; and
  • Shipping and freight companies under certain restrictions;
  • Delivery Services [Including Couriers & Taxis]

“If a business under any of the above categories is granted approval, it will require written authorization from the Ministry of National Security prior to the commencement of operations.

“If you do not receive this authorization prior to operation you will be in contravention of the law. We understand some businesses have advertised, however we would urge they to wait for approvals to be received before sending notices to customers.

“Lastly, as we work through this process, we are asking for the public’s patience. We are receiving a considerable volume of calls and emails, and these will likely not receive an immediate response because our team is engaged in the critical work of overseeing our approval processes.

“We recognise that these are testing and anxious times for our businesses. We empathise with you, and we are working to assist where we can.

“But the reality is that we have a responsibility and a priority to protect our citizens – these are your loved ones, your family members, your friends, your neighbours. And these restrictions are in place to save lives.”

Update 10.38pm: The e-application form is live on the Government Portal. The form can be accessed here.

A Government spokesperson said, “This e-form will enable the Ministry to grant approvals. The Ministry will review submitted applications and contact applicants [during business hours] within 24-hours of receipt of a completed application.

“As a reminder, the submission of an application does not automatically mean that a business will be given approval to operate. Any business that opens contrary to the Emergency Powers [Shelter in Place] Regulations is liable to prosecution.”

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Comments (12)

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  1. I understand but.....I am A-G says:

    I understand and appreciate the update. However, I am A-G so am only allowed to go tomorrow, Monday. I cannot go any other day per the new rules.
    If you don’t give approval by early Monday….all of us A-G’s cannot gets anything we need for home repairs etc for another full week.
    Can we go on Thursday please since we will apparently miss Monday??

  2. A liitle late! says:

    Business must apply for approval to open. An e-form is being developed and it takes up to 24 hours for approval. It is Sunday evening, and it is not ready. These businesses will be allowed to open 3 days a week, so I guess A-F will have to wait till next Monday, because the application form isn’t even ready yet? The Premier and the Minister spoke about these changes last week but the application form still isn’t developed. Seems like its a power trip to me, because if you say one more time, “it will require written authorization from the Ministry of National Security prior to the commencement of operations” and
    “If you do not receive this authorization prior to operation you will be in contravention of the law.” This is a simple task and you are in charge, SMH!

  3. Ringmaster says:

    Why announce that these businesses can operate, within stringent guidelines, on Friday, then say on Sunday you can’t operate until you have written permission, and the form is still not available (7.45pm) on Sunday evening? Clearly little planning went into this and it is a rush job. Rather like mixing seniors and essential workers (with more potential exposure to the virus) on Sunday shopping.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Don’t you know it is a weekend? Certain people don’t work weekends. How much the people who pay them need & want stuff does not matter. You all can wait another week.

    • Useless! says:

      Actually they spoke about this before Friday! Just check Aberfeldy’s instagram account, Saturday they posted details on where to park, and how to social distance and how to pay ……… Sunday night they post, no approval yet. No, there is no approval because the form wasn’t ready, so how could they get approval!! Businesses have to make arrangements for staffing and products and procedures ….. they can do that from Friday at 6pm to Saturday; but the government can’t get a form prepared for days…. no wonder we couldn’t get testing supplies for weeks. Thank you to all the business who tried to be open for curbside pick up Monday.

  4. Sailor says:

    Could you provide us a list of the companies that have approval

  5. DOUGLAS= says:

    Hello Minister,
    On Thursday I submitted a request to go to my office this coming week. There are only 4 staff including me. The other three have been told to stay at home. I would be the only person in the office. I need to get some files, etc. to continue to do work from home. I would like permission to go to my office for a few hours this week and next week to get the needed files and information to continue to assist my clients. Also in the final week of April I need to go into my office in order to pay my staff. To date I have not received a reply to my submission.
    Any help you can give me would be very much appreciated. I would drive directly to and from my office with no contact with anyone else.
    My family and I support wholeheartedly what you and the government have done to keep our island safe and will continue to adhere to the “stay in shelter” rule.
    Wishing you the best,
    PS. I am the owner of the business and getting to my files would be very helpful.

  6. Life matters says:

    Please make it mandatory that all customers and all internal and external staff wear face coverings.

  7. This says:

    So I can’t see my kids for another 2 weeks?

  8. Um Um Like says:

    This is the kind of forward thinking that Bermudians voted for. Enjoy it.

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