Saturday 5 December, 2020

Bermuda's ACP: More COVID enforcement, house parties under scrutiny

Assistant Commissioner (Operations) Martin Weekes said police will be doing more to ensure compliance with COVID-19 regulations.

In a statement Friday, Weekes said the news earlier that day that a case of local transmission had occurred with no obvious connection to travel "has reminded us all that the pandemic is far from over, even here in Bermuda."

Weekes said he has instructed all police officers to do more to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 regulations.

"A quick drive around the city of an average Friday evening makes it obvious that many restaurants and bars have somewhat relaxed their vigilance around the COVID-19 Regulations. Masks are not being worn appropriately, sanitiser stations are being ignored, contact tracing is not taking place, patrons are moving freely among tables and congregating in groups less than six feet apart without masks, et cetera, et cetera."

He said effective Friday night the Bermuda Police Service would be stepping up COVID compliance checks at licenced premises around the island and enforcement actions will follow where blatant offences are seen occurring. 

"Licence holders are reminded that the regulations allow for licenced premises to be shut down for 24 hours where a superintendent of police deems that offences have taken place on their premises and it is necessary to close them down. Premises who have become lax in their compliance can expect to be shut down and additionally face consequences in court."

Weekes said the issue of large gatherings at house parties has also been raised and patrols will be instructed to monitor gatherings. 

"Where numbers are suspected to be in excess of 75 persons (and no permit exists) or where mask and physical-distancing protocols are being blatantly disregarded, enforcement action will follow."

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